Healthy Ageing in Action

This section highlights actions from across Europe that aim to improve the health and well-being of older people. The examples include Pan-European as well as national health promotion initiatives from 27 European countries. They range from nutrition and physical activity interventions for seniors to actions dedicated to promote independent living and tackle social exclusion.

Austria

Aktiv ins Alter
Action

Promoting social inclusion among vulnerable older people through home visits.

Overview

This project (2002-2005) sought to improve quality of life and promote social inclusion of people aged 55-80 living in three districts of Vienna, through dynamic home visits paying special attention to migrants and other socially disadvantaged groups. The idea behind home visits was ensuring that the hardest-to-reach, most isolated and vulnerable groups of the population were reached by the project.

Impact

Evaluation was conducted through qualitative interviews with older people in their homes, coupled with quantitative questionnaires in the initial and last project phases, with a sample of 149 older people answering both questionnaires (45% of first sample). Overall, the evaluation results indicated that the project had been successful in intensifying participation in social activities and raising awareness of local services and information among participants. Although the project had a special focus on vulnerable groups, the majority of participants represented middle and higher social groups. The project was assessed to have a high level of sustainability and transferability to other settings. No cost-effectiveness analysis was carried out.

Belgium

Care Living Labs
Action

Care Living Labs have been set up in Flanders to tackle challenges of ageing with an innovative approach: Testing and experimentation spaces have been installed to create new care concepts, services, processes and products together with the end users.

Overview

Within the Care Living Labs new concepts, gadgets, and products that are developed to facilitate daily life of carers and care-dependent or old people can be tested and assessed by the target group in order to improve and adapt them to the peoples’ needs. Thus, the user is not only involved in the evaluation but also the development and adjustment of care innovations.

The project is split up in six pillars that each aims to improve specific parts of daily life. This includes, amongst others, to enable older people to remain in their familiar surrounding longer, despite the need of (complex) care, to tackle social isolation, ensure appropriate housing and affordability of housing, facilitate daily life activities and manage poor health conditions. The six pillars are each conducted by cities or regions of Flanders:

  • Living and Care Labs (LiCalab) in the Kempen region
  • Active Caring Neighbourhood in Antwerp and Brussels
  • InnovAGE in the Leuven region
  • Ageing in Place (AIPA) in the Aalst region
  • Care Ville Limburg, Moving Care in the Genk and Hasselt region
  • Online Neighbourhoods in West-Flanders.
Impact

Through the participation of the target group, new products and processes can be directly adjusted to the user’s needs and enhance older people’s quality of life. Besides, all of this naturally assumes open innovation and a broad ecosystem whereby cooperation partnerships are developed throughout the entire care and value chain. Scale, multidisciplinary and cross-sector co-operation are imperative. The Flemish Government will finance the Care Living Labs for three years.

Ontwikkelen van smaakvolle en nutritioneel aangepaste voeding voor senioren
Action

This year:

  • Interviews and questionnaires in elderly (65+)
  • Interview hostpitals, care homes, primary homecarefacilities (focusgroups)
  • Interview foodcompanies (meals, products, mealcomponentes (focusgroups) List the current situation, problems for every stakeholer, future views.
  • Give an overview of all the gaps in de flowchart (mealcomponent --> senior)
Overview

The consortium exists of both food companies and research institutes. First, a literature review will be conducted. Afterwards both elderly people, food companies and (institutional) caterers will be questioned in order to identify product specifications (e.g. price, packaging). All information will be collected and guidelines will be set up to develop food products adapted to the seniors' needs.

Impact

We’ll provide product specifications. Afterwards, we’ll develop products adapted to elderly people's needs. The offering of these food will both benefit elderly and healthcare workers. Delicious food products with high nutritional value will alter food intake among elderly, which benefits nutritional status and quality of life.

Elderly people with good nutritional status could be longer independent and good nutritionals status shortens time in hospital. This decreases workload for healthcare providers and reduces medical costs.

For more information contact Laura Vanroye.

Still Standing - BOEBS: Blijf Op Eigen Benen Staan
Action

Still Standing is a community project, developed to support the implementation of the Practice guideline for fall prevention in community-dwelling elderly in Flanders. The goal of Still Standing is to prevent falls in community-dwelling older people by stimulating physical activity and creating a safe public and private environment.

Overview

Still Standing is a community project developed by VIGeZ together with the EFF and Flemish Logo’s (Local-regional health consultation and organization) and supported by the Flemish government. The project consists of five steps, where the municipalities are guided to set up a local fall prevention policy. The local government organizes a network, consisting of all local partners in the municipality that work with elderly, who form a project-team. During the organized meetings, this team of partners decides on a local action program existing of a mix of interventions, in consultation with the Logo. This program includes sensibilisation, facilitation and anchoring activities, and activities with links to healthcare. In the following year(s), the team and its partner organizations organize these chosen activities for their community-dwelling elderly or health care professionals. In the final phase, they engage to keep organizing activities (annually), or to sustain changes or activities inside the organization or the municipality, to reduce falls in the future.

Czech Republic

Women 50+
Action

Activities of Association Ženy 50 (Women 50+) are focused on promoting equal opportunities and elimination of gender stereotypes. The target group are women over 50 years and older; however it is open for all. This age group may encounter discrimination because of age and gender in the labour market but also in other areas of life.

Overview

The aim of the association is to break down gender stereotypes, change the view of older women in society and media and encourage women to active approach to life. Association helps and support women over 50 that are at risk of social exclusion, and/or living in socially disadvantaged environment and contributes to better employability of target groups.

Some of activities to be mentioned are:

  • Preparation for active ageing: lectures on different topic, sports, physical activity, self development training, counselling, competitions, concerts, simple activities with the main aim: not to be isolated and be more active in spite of stereotypes. They are particularly important for women who are no longer economically active and can be in danger of social isolation.
  • Activities to improve the media image of women 50+ : photography competition to picture older and old women in active and beauty way and exposition of the best photographs.
  • Training in information-communication technologies (PC, internet).
  • Promoting equal opportunities for women and men labour market, equal number of women in managerial positions in government or profit-making sector, cooperation with organizations with similar focus in the CR and abroad.

The practice is running since 2006 up to now.

Impact

To reduce discrimination of women aged 50+

Denmark

A Lonely or Active Elderly Life
Action

Bridging municipalities and the civil society to improve the quality of life amongst elderly people who feel lonely.

Overview

Launched in the framework of the European Year for Active Ageing 2012, the project 'A Lonely or Active Elderly Life' aims to strengthen the cooperation between the municipalities and the civil society to improve the quality of life amongst elderly people who feel lonely. The project runs for a period of four years and has five phases:

  1. Research study about what characterises and motivates elderly people who feel lonely. The research is based upon a questionnaire with 8,830 respondents from all 25 municipalities and 24 interviews with elderly people, who feel lonely. (2012)
  2. Developing a webpage which makes it easier for elderly people to find activities in their local area that match their needs and interests (2012 - 2013)
  3. Supporting the voluntary associations and the municipalities in reducing and preventing loneliness among elderly people in Denmark (2013)
  4. Evaluation of the project (2014), which can be found here. 
Impact

The project involves 25 municipalities across Denmark and its goals are:

  • To improve the quality of life amongst elderly people who feel lonely.
  • To support and refine the important social work that is being done by voluntary associations around the country by developing and testing new activities and methods.
  • To develop new tools that can be used to match the lonely seniors with voluntary associations that suit their needs.  
  • To strengthen the cooperation between the municipalities and the civil society/ voluntary associations.
Life Long Living – maintaining independent living as long as possible
Action

The aim of the “Life Long Living” project is to develop a model for interaction between elderly citizens and the municipality proving rehabilitation and prevention rather than offering traditional and expensive compensatory care. Through this project, Fredericia Municipality has turned the interaction between the citizens and the municipality 180 degrees. By 180 degree is meant that the municipality now meets the elderly citizen looking at the person’s resources instead of looking at the person’s limitations.

The intention with the new way of interaction is to assist elderly citizens in mastering their own life - a daily life of greater enthusiasm, empowerment and independence. The project was initiated inOctober 2008 and is fully operational within all aspects of care (not only elderly care, but also care to other citizen groups) the model is continuously developed. The overall result constitutes a total saving of approx. DKK 15 million per year (approx. 2 mio. euro).

Overview

The project is divided into the following five sub-projects:

  1. Everyday Rehabilitation and Independent Living Training project
  2. Early detection and prevention of acute illness
  3. Follow-up home visits after hospital discharge
  4. Welfare technology
  5. Prevention and health promotion for the + 60 years old
Impact

The greatest benefit of using the new practice-oriented method and rehabilitative approach is:

  • Satisfied citizens, who are clearly physically stronger and independent in their own lives and express pride and improved quality of life by regaining and maintaining their daily functions.
  • Satisfied employees in the Elderly Care Department, who express significantly greater job satisfaction and are more engaged with the new working methods and the new interaction with the elderly citizens.
  • A decrease in sick absencehas also been observed.
  • Significantly reduced need forcare services withinthe Everyday Rehabilitation Project and similar trends in the Independent Living Training project.

England

PROGRESS 2WARDS HEALTHY AGEING IN EUROPE
Action

Improving the understanding of how best to help 45 - 65 year older people to maintain their good health.

Overview

A Suffolk County Council led consortium - including partners from Spain, Denmark, Germany and Italy - has been awarded €375k from the EU's PROGRESS Programme to improve understanding of how best to help 45 - 65 year older people maintain their good health. The PROGRESS 2WARDS HEALTHY AGEING IN EUROPE project will involve universities, public authorities & health services from across Suffolk working with international partners to develop and uncover innovative approaches to healthy ageing.

Impact

The project has already begun to identify businesses to help deliver the  project goals through the promotion of workplace based health initiatives. A Transnational Conference: ‘The Healthy Ageing of your Workforce. Why is it important and what can be done?’ took place in July 2012 and was attended by over 100 delegates. It placed a special emphasis on the role of workplace health in ensuring that individuals age healthily. The event saw several senior figures from the business, health and public authority sectors in Suffolk discuss the subject with national and global experts as well as organisations from across Europe with a particular interest in healthy ageing. The event was just one component of the ‘Progress’ project that will seek to capitalise on the learning from the event and help to deliver real improvements in the health of older people across Europe. An evaluation of the event is being undertaken by University Campus Suffolk, another project partner.

WISK - Winter Intervention Support Kent
Action

Organizations/stakeholders involved: Kent County Council, NHS Kent and Medway, Age UK, In Touch Home Improvement Agency, Swale Borough Council (Staying Put Home Improvement Agency).

Start: November 2012 - March 2013

The programme targets vulnerable older people (people over 70 years old with an underlying heart or lung condition) who are at risk of poor health due to cold temperatures and offer support that can help alleviate their risk. It consists of a range of interventions including home visits to vulnerable people that focus on offering advice on energy efficiency measures. Examples of energy efficiency measures include a home assessment, loft clearance and insulation, draught reduction measures and energy tariff checks. People will also be advised as to what benefit support they could be entitled to in order to maximise their income.

Overview

Telecare in the form of cold weather alarms is also offered to clients. The cold weather alarms work by alerting a support call centre if the clients' home falls below a specific temperature. The support call centre will then call the client to check if they are ok and need any further support.

A winter warmth support fund has been established to offer instant emergency support to people. The type of support that the fund is used for includes the purchase of blankets, warm clothing, heaters and home repairs that will make the home warmer such as fixing a broken window.

People are also offered emergency support from Age UK when it is particularly cold to minimise their need to go outdoors. This support includes grocery shopping, collecting prescriptions and transporting people to medical appointments.

Age UK are undertaking training around increasing the awareness of the risk that cold temperatures can have on health and what actions can be taken. This is being delivered across Kent to a range of professionals.

Impact

The programme was also in operation in a similar format last winter, although it did not include telecare.  In total, 652 people received a home visit and were offered support from the Home Improvement Agency.

Finland

Act on Support for Informal Care
Action

This municipal policy in Helsinki helps support the informal (family) care of the elderly or handicapped by providing services for the informal carers, income and vacation as well. They sign an agreement with the municipality, and can receive training and complimentary education. Electronic health check-ups are used to monitor the status of the care being given, and adjust the support as needed.

Age-ESKO
Action

Regional meeting places for seniors in the city of Oulu, Finland

Overview

Age-Esko project is a part of a bigger initiative which aims to improve and promote well-being in the city of Oulu. In particular, the project aims to develop regional meeting places for lonely older people living under the risk of social exclusion. The project will identify, collect and develop targeted prevention activities for older people through community support and regional cooperation (NGOs, city, church).

The project has already developed a number of operations - the phone ring activities, cultural activities, and the pilot pension info activity - focusing on the modes of proximity for older people.

The project is realized within 2009-2013.

Impact

The aim is to improve welfare and welbeing of older people in Oulu, as well as to promote participation and community support at regional level.

GOAL - Good Ageing in Lahti region
Action

The aim of the GOAL is to improve physical and psychosocial well-being and to promote health among ageing citizens in the Lahti region.

Overview

The GOAL local initiative will increase welfare, diminish morbidity, and improve quality of life among the ageing population, and thereby increase the attractiveness of the region. In order to achieve this, the project aims to:

  • initiate evidence-based preventive measures,
  • facilitate health promotion by fostering collaboration both within community sectors and between local communities
  • empower citizens to make healthy lifestyle choices.

In addition to that, a longitudinal cohort study is being carried out with more than 2500 participants.

Impact

The main results of GOAL so far are:

  • The health-care sector has adopted the model of group-based intervention for prevention of vascular diseases (e.g. type 2 diabetes), and is working on a similar structured approach to identify and rehabilitate senior citizens with functional problems;
  • The Joint Authority for Päijät-Häme Social and Health Care has established a team with the task to facilitate health promotion practices in social and health care;
  • The leaders of local communities have used GOAL results in their strategic health policies.

France

Baluchon Initiative
Action

Providing temporary relief for care-givers of Alzheimer patients

Overview

This French project gives support to care-givers of Alzheimer patients by providing them with the ability to take a longer-term break from caring. Families usually prefer to care for Alzheimer sufferers at home and for as long as possible. A range of services giving care-givers a break, such as day-care centres or a few hours respite care, have been in existence for some years. But when care-givers need a few days of physical and mental rest, the only service offered is a temporary shelter, usually provided by long-term care centres, but this is a very stressful solution for Alzheimer sufferers. This provided the impetus behind the creation of the Baluchon initiative, which intended to provide the patient's relatives with a complete break for a week or two without having to move their relative out of his or her home. A trained volunteer comes to the home to care for the patient while the family is away. The initiative originated in Canada and has spread to Europe.

Fifti - New Professional Dynamics after 45
Action

Co-funded by the Europe Social Fund, FIFTI is an online system in French providing a number of tools to help optimize people's careers after the age of 45. It provides specific information, guidance and support to both employers and workers aged 45+ on a range of topics: skills; training; well-being; preparing for retirement; motivation; workplace risks; and dialogue between employers and employees.

Overview

The ongoing project aims to help people anticipate ageing in the workplace, challenging fears and negative preconceptions, and opening the way for new solutions and approaches to the continued employment of older workers.

Multidimensional integrated services to support independent living at home for people with chronic conditions (Autonom@Dom)
Action

The aim of Autonom@Dom® is to bring together tele-asistance and remote medicine in a single service, adapted to the needs of people at risk of loss of autonomy, suffering from chronic illness or recovering from hospitalisation, to people who are in need of care but want to stay at home.

 

Overview

Autonom@Dom® covers telecare, telehealth and telemedicine, personal and household services and medical assistance available 24/7 through a telephone helpline. Autonom@dom is based on a call-center and an open software platform for service integration, acting as a one-stop shop for demands and needs for health care and social care from different stakeholders (professionals, older people, families, social workers, carers). It is based on the cooperation between health and social care professionals, the private and the public sector and enabled by ICT and data sharing and analysis.

Besides the professional coordination centred on the individual need of the person, services will be proposed to different cohorts of users:

  • Retired people: Support for personal management and empowerment, based on physical activity, cognitive stimulation, nutritional education and social activities.
  • Seniors at risk of losing their independence: A prevention program plus a fall prevention program and remote surveillance and monitoring of motor and cognitive activity
  • Patients suffering from chronic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy): The same package for the group above plus integrated care and remote surveillance and monitoring
  • Patients suffering from cancer: Coordination of health care and social care, scalability of home services, secondary prevention and remote surveillance
  • A one-stop front office for anyone facing health or social difficulties, or looking for a home service.
Impact
  • Housing: increase the number of older people living independently
  • Social participation: increase the number of older people who are socially active
  • Communication and information: increase in communication and information suitable for targeted at older people
To get older in good health
Action

Information packages providing advice to young and future retirees on physical activity, nutrition and other health promotion and health prevention issues.

Overview

In the frame of its campaign 'To get older in a god health' INPES broadcasts advertorials for young and future retirees devoted to physical activity, nutrition, emotional and mental health as well as prevention and health lifestyles. The advertorials present stories and deliver advice to help people aged 55 to 65 years to adopt behaviors favorable to healthy and autonomously ageing.

The design of these six advertorials is based on the results of a pre-test conducted in September 2012. This study identified a communication axis in line with expectations, attitudes and behaviors of young seniors, already sensitized to health related issues through health magazines, medical or prevention campaigns. The publications were treated according to a cross-determinants approach. For each health topic, the socio-economic target population was taken into consideration also emphasising issues of social cohesion, intergenerational relations or the use of new technologies. The proposed activities, are easy to access (hiking, brisk walking, etc.) and include activities for couples and individuals based on respect for the different gender preferences.

The advertorials will be distributed through a number of publications - Full Life , Our Time and Version Femina - from January until June 2013.

Impact

The advertorials invite readers to ponder globally on various health topics. Advice is suitable for everyone and easily applicable to daily life. Physical activity, diet, emotional and mental health (memory, concentration, etc.), prevention and health lifestyles are the topics discussed and are presented in the form of testimony, based on scenes and cases of everyday life.

 

Germany

Active Health Promotion among the aged in the German region of Kinzigtal region
Action

The programme (AGil intervention programme) is focused on people from sixty years of age who are not in need of nursing care.

Overview

The intervention is designed to empower participants to maintain and if possible expand active health behaviour in three domains: physical activity, diet, and social participation.

Impact

A midterm evaluation six months into the project indicated that the majority of the participants had already attained the AGil recommendations concerning physical activity and a healthy diet.

Gründer 50plus
Action

Aims to provide social and economic opportunities to people over 50 at risk of poverty by helping them make social start-ups through workshops, coaching and co-development of unique business ideas. They promote responsibility and ensure that business ideas are tested before implementation to make the endeavours that the over-50s involved are successful.

Overview

Gründer 50plus is a social enterprise, which means that its primary goal is not to make profit (although it is economically sustainable), but to solve social problems. In the case of this company, the social problem they aim to solve is the high rates of unemployment and impoverishment in old age.

The organisation of the company is highly decentralised. A team of only four is in control of the nation-wide network of partners, who are given all the tools and instruments that allow them to support the older entrepreneurs who wish to start their own social business.

Examples of the sort of tools provided to the older entrepreneurs are:

  • Training and supervision
  • Work documents
  • Communication materials
  • Financing
  • Networking, exchanges and contacts

Gründer 50plus puts a large emphasis on supporting only high-quality and effective start-ups from their older entrepreneurs. By only supporting ideas which are highly likely to be successful, they are incentivising the older entrepreneurs to take on start-ups that will often result in them becoming financially self-sustaining. This allows for Gründer 50plus’s resources to be used smartly, and also helps for the older entrepreneurs become resilient against unemployment and poverty through their new business.  

Impact

More than 1,000 start-ups have been founded under the guidance of Gründer 50plus in the past years. And the start-up rate of participants who have taken the intensive seminars is around 60%, which is incredibly high compared to traditional start-up foundations.

Healthy and active ageing
Action

Strategy on active and healthy ageing, developed, organized and coordinated by the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA), Germany.

Overview

The strategy was implemented in 2012 and follows an integrated, multidisciplinary approach. It aims to serve as an umbrella to facilitate the networking and collaboration of governmental, nongovernmental, academic and private stakeholders in jointly defined key topics of healthy ageing, such as:

  • physical activity (incl. fall prevention)
  • healthy diet
  • mental health (incl. depression and dementia)
  • substance abuse (alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals)
  • dissemination of information on major diseases, risk factors, prevention opportunities and early diagnosis
  • integration, activation and participation of the target group

Activity programs in the aforementioned areas are planned and coordinated by the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) and accompanied by an interdisciplinary scientific advisory board under supervision of the Ministry of Health. Cooperation partners are among others the German National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations (BAGSO), German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB, German Gymnastics Federation (DTB), German Sport University Cologne (DSHS), German Adult Education Association (DVV), German Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBSV), German Association of Family Physicians and General Practitioners (DHÄV), German Hiking Association (DWV), several universities and others.

Impact

The building of a strong network and partnerships is the key purpose of the strategy. It involves governmental as well as non-governmental institutions and actors from various fields of healthy ageing.

This strategy aims to:

  • preserve and support physical, psychological, and cognitive skills;
  • preserve and support an active, autonomous, socially integrated and self-responsible healthy lifestyle;
  • prolong the time until need for care.
Rollatortanz
Action

Dance lessons with walkers

Overview

Walkers are part of many seniors everyday life, providing physically weak people the security they need to move.

Since 2011 the German Dance Teachers Association (ADTV) is offering dance classes for people using walkers, giving everyone the opportunity to have fun again moving and discover the experience of dancing.

Rollatortanz classes take place mainly in nursing homes and retirement residences. The dance courses are lead by trained and educated dance teachers of the ADTV.

Impact

These Rollatortanz lessons also help to activate all areas of the body and increase brain activity. It has also been observed that body consciousness is increased, as well the sense of balance, helping seniors to prevent falls.

Besides, dancing helps to increase sociability of older people and interact with others in a relaxed way.

The Experience Generation. Opportunities for 50 Plus
Action

Increase older employees' job satisfaction, motivation and performance level by providing them with good working conditions and training opportunities whilst helping them to make the transition into retirement.

Overview

The target group of the "Experience Generation. Opportunities for 50 Plus" project is employees aged over 50 and above and it has a threefold aim, namely

  • to improve the living and working conditions of these citizens,
  • to encourage them to participate in voluntary work,
  • to ensure that companies are in a better position to face future challenges.

In the framework of the project 'senior citizens' bureaus' have been established all around Germany which provide advice, organize workshops and information events in order to approach SMEs', public authorities and institutions and raise their attention to the challenge of demographic change and offer assistance to them in dealing with this issue.

These bureaus offer information sessions divided in five different modules, each of them addressing different aspects of the challenge. These modules are as follow:

  1. Demographic change and its effects on companies in German regions
  2. The future of work
  3. Fit and 50 - Healthy eating and exercise in the workplace
  4. Transition - the last 5-10 years of working life and making a successful transition into retirement
  5. "Sandwich generation" - a generation that is being squeezed on all sides, with specific advice on how to balance work with responsibilities as a career.

The project was amongst the finalists of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations Awards, in the category of 'Workplaces for all Ages'.

Impact

Municipal authorities have already included modules in their staff training programmes and private companies have also expressed their interest in cooperating with senior citizens' bureau's.

Greece

Carealia
Action

Intelligent healthcare design for dementia patients, using technology (e.g. wearable devices) to monitor and combine multiple life aspects, which allows clinicians with a holistic picture of behavioural patterns and symptoms. This will help to create personalized care for dementia patients, and has been shown through clinical trials to be useful in a number of different European countries.

Overview

Carealia (2016-present) builds upon the findings of Dem@Care (www.demcare.eu) from FP7, and uses now privately funded eHealth technology to monitor the condition of dementia patients and remotely support them. The Carelia team, composed of clinical psychologists, IT and market experts, also uses the extensive data collected by the ICT they implement in homes in order to deepen our understanding of dementia’s progression and possible treatments.

Because the company was founded out of a research programme, their methods are evidence-based and are already proven to be effective at a clinical level. This has allowed it to be transferred from Greece, the country in which it started, to pilots in Sweden, Ireland and France. They have further plans to expand with online cloud and multilingual services.  

Impact

Using this technology alleviates a substantial burden on informal carers and house nurses, as the routine monitoring is done by the technology instead and sent directly to the nurses. Nurses can therefore more effectively focus their efforts on where they are most needed, helping deliver more efficient care to those who need it most when they need it most.

This service is also a cost-effective way of providing monitoring and diagnosis for dementia patients. The service costs 100 EUR monthly/1200 EUR annually, whereas people can spend anywhere from 1000-5000 EUR annually for traditional care services. It provides a greater level of financial stability through its subscription service; if a patient’s condition deteriorates their fees will not go up as significantly as through traditional care.

Hungary

Don't Fall Don't Break
Action

Promoting better health status and independent living for elderly suffering from chronic diseases

Overview

Don't Fall Don't Break project helps elderly people suffering from chronic diseases by offering them a Healthcare Learning and Teaching Package which includes disease related topics, and information on fall prevention, healthy life style, medication, nutrition, and adequate exercises using ICT, resulting in better health status and independent living.

It aims at establishing an interactive education system for patient, elderly people, caregivers and also the medical providers. An innovative virtual store and library with educational material like videos, digital computer files, pod-casts for multiple users throughout existing television network, in hospitals, in nursing homes, through Web based social networks, on line TV, smart-phones, iPods, iPads, and Tablet PC with different Apps at home will be set. Ordering educational material from the store and library will be simple for elderly people, care givers and also the staff members through telephone and the Internet.

Impact

It results to better health status and independent life while supporting the long-term sustainability and efficiency of health and social care systems. With the feeding of the network (expansion) the health' and social care system's sustainability is realistic while enhancing the competitiveness of EU industry.

Ireland

K-CORD - Kinsale COmmunity Response to Dementia
Action

K-CORD is a project designed to create an age friendly environment in an Irish town, commencing in September of 2012 and expected to run for three and a half years. Education is an integral part of the K-CORD project in alliance with University College Cork.

Overview

K-CORD is a philanthropic and government-funded community based project which will work to identify, mobilise and develop community-based supports and innovative technological solutions with the ultimate aim of supporting carers and enabling people with dementia to remain at home living full lives. The consortium behind the project includes community organisations, citizens of all ages, carers, church representatives, health professionals, state employed health staff and technology experts.

Picturesque fishing town of Kinsale, and its surrounding hinterland, has just been selected as one of four areas nationally to participate in a three year pilot project aimed at improving services to older people with dementia following a competitive selection process. The findings of this project will inform the development of the forthcoming National Dementia Strategy.

Let's Walk and Talk
Action

The Dublin City Council has initiated a community initiative that consists of weekly walks in various parts of the city, themed historical walking tour and other special events.

Overview

The tours are led by an acclaimed historian who explores hidden parts of the city together with the walking group. Participants can be physical active while meeting people and learning more about their environment. The tours are easy to access as they are free and no booking in advance is necessary. The walking tours last about 90 minutes.

Impact

As we age, physical activity remains important to stay fit and healthy. Physical activity has proven to be good for your brain, heart and lungs and strengthens you immune system, helps to lower blood pressure, and reduces the risk of developing illnesses such as diabetes and osteoporosis. Furthermore, the walking tours are a social activity and can prevent people from being isolated from society.

LIFEMATTERS
Action

Self-care, wellbeing and emotional health

Overview

LIFEMATTERS is a positive psychology, cognitive behavioral coaching programme that focuses on providing older adults with tools for self-care, wellbeing and emotional health. LIFEMATTERS SV is based on the successful and validated LIFEMATTERS UNI-V programme. LIFEMATTERS UNI-V was philanthropically funded for E320,000 and over 1000 students (undergraduate, postgraduate and mature across courses in University College Cork) have completed the programme. Research findings both qualitative and quantitative in 884 students have confirmed the efficacy of the intervention 3 studies including randomized controlled trial. LIFEMATTERS was originally developed and used as a mental health users and carers self-help tool in the National Health Service in the UK.

Impact

The programme is an evidence based self-care, wellbeing and emotional health innovation, that consists of a framework and tools for individual and group application. Healthcare professionals, service users and wider society can be trained on the use and dissemination of the programme. It facilitates individual empowerment and psychological health management, and can be used by carers to enhance self-care and promote independent living.

Louth County Age-Friendly Initiative
Action

Increase the participation of older people in the social, economic and cultural life of the community.

Overview

Louth, as a part of the WHO global age-friendly cities network, is the first Age-Friendly County in Ireland. The aim of the initiative is to increase the participation of older people in the social, economic and cultural life of the community, to improve the health and well-being of older people in the county and to show how services and supports for older people can be made more responsive, caring, professional and accessible, through imaginative and cost-effective partnerships. As a part of this concept Louth county has also adopted the age-friendly business approach which aims doing business in a way that recognizes and addresses the market opportunity afforded by a society where more people are living healthier for longer. For more information about the age-friendly business approach please click here.

Impact

Older people’s participation in the labour market is lengthened and strengthened, especially by leveraging their wisdom as senior entrepreneurs.

Italy

AUSER - The Service and Solidarity Self-Management Association
Action

Promoting intercultural solidarity through meetings, seminars and education activities

 

Overview

This Italian project promotes social inclusion and solidarity through the interactions of older people and immigrants in intercultural meetings and regional seminars. Meetings between older people and their families and the families of immigrants were organized with the aim of overcoming stereotypes and building intercultural awareness and exchange.

Impact

Evaluation showed increased self-esteem and awareness of those taking part, and a reduction of anxiety due to fear based on racial stereotypes. The project also led to improved communication and linkages across ethnic groups within the community, and greater openness and readiness to talk about “diversity” in society.

Campania Small Municipalities Collaborative Network (CosMic Net)
Action

Aim of this project is to create a network of small Municipalities in Campania Region, to build up their capacity to join European initiatives.

Overview

The current economic crisis has been determining a general reduction of the services provided to European citizen, due to spending reviews applied to the Health Care system, to the Social Services, to Schools. This has determined a further reduction of funding allocated to city environments and spaces, that are currently unfit to the challenge of an aging population. Most small municipalities do not possess alternative funding, and cannot sustain the initial investment required by the internationalization effort. This project aims to help create a network of small Municipalities in Campania Region and build up their capacity to participate in European initiatives.

Impact
  • Social participation: increase the number of older people who are socially active
  • Civic participation: increase in possibilities for active civic participation of older people
  • Community support and health services: increase in client-oriented and -centered made to measure health and social care and services
REHACOP & REHACOG: brain training for prevention of disability
Action

REHACOP is a comprehensive and structured program with eight modules of work:

  • Attention
  • Language
  • Memory
  • Executive functions
  • Daily life activities
  • Social skills
  • Social cognition
  • Psychoeducation
Overview

REHACOP consists of a total of 300 easy-to-administer rehabilitation exercises, with instructions and solutions, guidelines for the assessment of change, monitoring cards and suggestions on homeworks. The exercises are structured cognitive subdomains and difficulty levels. REHACOP includes recommendations and guidance on how to assess the change or improvement, and how to collect and use the information in the working sessions with patients. The materials are practical, colourful and include instructions for patients and solutions for the therapist. It can be used in individual or group sessions and it is recommended that the therapist is trained in neuropsychology. Its effectiveness has been tested with various populations and result of this there are already several national and international scientific publications in journal of high scientific impact.

Impact
  • Elderly people living independently
  • Preventing Cognitive decline, dependency and dementia
  • Wellbeing and quality of life

See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22349843.

Salute & Risparmio (SARI 2000)
Action

SARI 2000 is an insurance service that aims to take care of everyone's health. We would like to allow anyone to benefit from high quality, timely and cost-effective diagnostic health services. We would like to develop and improve the prevention phase, extremely too expensive, both for the Sate and the traditional Insurances.is an insurance service and wants to take care of everyone's health. We would like to allow anyone to benefit from high quality, timely and cost-effective diagnostic health services. We would like to develop and improve the prevention phase, extremely too expensive, both for the Sate and the traditional Insurances.

Overview

We have been working for the past 15 years towards "4 stars healthcare": quality, timeliness, humanity, affordability.

Impact
  • Respect and social inclusion: increase in number of policies/strategies targeted at older people
  • Communication and information: increase in communication and information suitable for targeted at older people
  • Community support and health services: increase in client-oriented and -centered made to measure health and social care and services
Workplace Health Promotion: Lombardy WHP Network
Action

Network of “Health Promoting Companies”

Overview

The Lombardy Workplace Health Promotion Network involves 284 workplaces, employing 139,186 persons in November 2014. It is a public-private network, carried out by building partnerships and collaboration with main workplace stakeholders: associations of enterprises, trade unions and the regional health system. The network consists of companies (“workplaces”) that are committed to providing "environments conducive to health” through the implementation of evidence-based actions:

  • informational actions (smoking cessation, healthy eating, etc.);
  • organizational actions (canteens, snack vending machines, agreements with gyms, stairs health programmes, walking / biking from home to work, smoke-free environment, baby pit-stop, etc.); and
  • collaboration with others in the local community (associations, etc.).

Good practices were identified and a system of accreditation was defined. Member companies should implement good practice activities over three years and four new activities every year to maintain the "Workplace Health Promotion Site" logo. The areas of good practice are: nutrition, tobacco, physical activity, road safety, alcohol and substances, and well-being.

Impact

The Lombardy WHP Network aims to:

  • improve work organization and the working environment;
  • encourage staff to take part in healthy activities;
  • promote healthy choices; and
  • encourage personal development (empowerment).

Through these actions, the Network aims to create conditions for healthy and active aging and to prevent chronic diseases. This initiative targets the factors contributing to the majority of the burden of chronic non-communicable diseases: tobacco, poor diets, alcohol and lack of physical activity. There is evidence to support the use of health promotion activities in the workplace and there are potential benefits to be gained by employers investing in workplace programmes, such as reduced health care costs, saving on absence, and stress reduction.

The creation of intersectoral partnerships and alliances is also a key objective of this project.

Lithuania

BiblioHealth
Action

BiblioHealth encourages people aged 60+ to have a healthy lifestyle, engage in physical activities and have access to reliable health information sources.

Overview

In the context of the European Year for Active Ageing 2012, the Kaunas Public Library has implemented the BiblioHealth project which consists of a set of actions and activities, such as book presentations, relaxation sessions, lectures about yoga and yoga exercises, meetings with health workers, herbalists and psychologists, internet courses focused on finding reliable resources and conferences about how to discover the health-related books available in public libraries. In addition, the library organised a conference entitled 'Ageing and Mental Health'.

HEFILL - Healthy and Fit in Later Life
Action

Being Healthy and Fit in Later Life

Overview

 

Healthy and Fit in Later Life (HEFILL) is a Grundtvig Learning Partnership Project implemented by two sport associations from Germany and Italy and two seniors associations from Austria and Lithuania in order to:

  • exchange experience and good practice in the field of sports and movement in later life,
  • make proposals on how to increase the level of physical activity among sedentary older people
Impact

Qualified trainers and adult learners attended seminars and workshops between 2010-2012 in the participating countries, where services, activities and exercises geared to older persons were demonstrated. The activities and exercises were filmed and will be made available in DVD format.

Pan-European

AENEAS - Attaining Energy-Efficient Mobility in an Ageing Society
Action

The AENEAS - Attaining Energy-Efficient Mobility in an Ageing Society project aimed to improve the attractiveness of sustainable transport towards older people. Five cities (Donostia-San Sebastián, Kraków, Munich, Odense, Salzburg) focused on offering energy-efficient mobility in ageing societies together with leading European players in the field of older people's mobility. The project reviewed case studies across Europe to encourage people (in particular older people) to use public transport and cycling instead of using their car and to change their ways of moving. The AENEAS project (from August 2008 to May 2011) was co-funded by the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI) under the Intelligent Energy Europe programme.

Overview

AENEAS was a new European project in the framework of the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme. Its objective was to become the cornerstone for international reference projects in the field of urban mobility of older people. The activities in the framework of the projects were concentrated around two focus points:

  • Exchanging good practices among European cities on energy-efficient mobility in ageing societies via a "Good Practice Exchange Ring" involving 50 cities and organisations and using tools like training workshops and implementation handbooks;

  • Enabling and encouraging older people to use energy-efficient mobility in five European cities through concrete measures in the areas of mobility management, training, awareness raising and communication activities.

Impact

The project led to the following results:

  • Raising awareness about the challenge of energy-efficient urban mobility in an ageing society among stakeholders in European cities;
  • Enabling key actors to address these issues by applying successful, non-technological concepts;
  • Raising awareness on energy-efficient travel options  (walking, public transport, cycling, car sharing and public bicycles) and promote them as alternatives to the private car;
  • Training older people on how to use sustainable transport according to their needs and expectations; and
  • Improving the attractiveness and safety of energy-efficient modes by small-scale, innovative interventions.

The AENEAS project published "A guide to mobility management in ageing societies" which is available here.

Aiding SuStainable Independent Senior TrAvellers to Navigate in Towns
Action

Contributes to maintaining the mobility of older people in Europe in order to safeguard their social and economic participation in an increasingly ageing society.

Overview

It does this by helping them to travel safely and independently by public transport, enabling them to relax and enjoy the journey whilst doing so.

ASSISTANT includes:

  • an on-line means of planning a trip
  • guidance on making multi-step journeys
  • an alert which tells the user when it is time to leave the vehicle. The project offers seamless support for the entire length of a journey, across different means of public transport, and in both rural and urban environments.

The target group for ASSISTANT is essentially mobile older people, but the system is designed so it is accessible for all potential users.

The project is co-financed under the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme of the European Commission and involves partners from the UK, Spain, France, Austria and Finland.

Impact

The most important result will be bringing a product to market. There are two tracks for this: 1) taking ASSISTANT directly from the project to a commercial offering, and 2) incorporating the ASSISTANT results into an existing commercial offering. Supporting these two ends, ASSISTANT will be standards based, and documented (including design rationale) so that the results of ASSISTANT can be used with a minimum of overhead. Partners will also undertake dissemination activities locally. Additionally, the project will pursue scientific dissemination of results via academic and industrial communities.

Alpha-to-Omega: New Pathways Towards Volunteering and Life Learning for Senior European Citizens
Action

Alpha-to-Omega offers new learning materials for senior learners in adult learning provision. They are asked to share their skills and competence acquired throughout.

The project was co-ordinated by the German Institute 'International Education Information Exchange e.V. - IEIE'. Associated partners were:

  • Akzente Salzburg, Austria
  • Institute of Preventive Medicine, Environmental and Occupational Health, PROPEPSIS, Greece
  • Exchange House Travellers Service, Ireland
  • Asociata Nationala a Universitatilor Populare, Romania
  • Vivre a Koekelberg Asbl
Overview

The project developed and implemented educational tools for lifelong learning for senior citizens using the methods of social participation, volunteering and inter-generational dialogue. Different modules were developed and delivered to senior citizens through an innovative methodology encouraging co-operation and dialogue between senior citizens and members of younger generations. Modules concerned love and partnership, music, photography, living history, volunteering, technology and media, literature and cultural heritage.

PROLEPSIS developed and piloted two modules on 'safety at home' and 'safe use of medication'. The project activities that took place in Greece are described below:

Module 1: Safety at Home

Background: Between 25% and 75% of falls among senior citizens involve an environmental component, most of which are within in their own home environment.
Aim: Through this module senior citizens are provided with information about home hazards that could lead to accidents, and guided them on how to intervene in their home environment so as to make them less prone to falls. Objectives: (1) To show what the risks of having an accident at home are; (2) To identify the most frequent accidents at home; (3) To demonstrate the most effective and practical means of protecting against accidents.
Resources: (1) Questionnaire on falling risk; (2) Information pamphlet; (3) Home safety checklist; (4) Poster; (5) Pen and pencil.

Module 2: Safe Use of Medication by Senior Citizens

Background: As more frequent users of medication senior citizens, especially those with low levels of literacy are more prone to inappropriate prescription, adverse drug reactions, and non-compliance with prescribed medication. Aim: Through this module senior citizens learn about the correct use of medication emphasising adherence, the dangers of overdose and the practicalities of correct use.
Objectives: (1) Raising awareness about the most common problems related to the use of medication; (2) Teach how to recognise symptoms related to incorrect use of medication; (3) Provide practical advice on how to avoid medication related problems.
Resources: (1) Questions and answers; (2) Information pamphlet; (3) Medication chart; (4) Pen/pencil.

Impact

Participants reported that the information received was valuable for their well-being, and expressed a desire to participate in similar activities. PROLEPSIS is currently planning to implement the project in seven senior citizens’ clubs, with the aim of reaching approximately 700 participants. The project will be formally evaluated.

APSIS4all - Accessible Personalised Services in Public Digital Terminals for all
Action

Overcoming accessibility barriers at Public Digital Terminals (PDTs) with ICT

Overview

The APSIS4all consortium was set up to overcome the existing accessibility barriers faced by disabled people, older people and people who are not familiar with ICT when interacting with PDTs, such as Automated Teller Machines and Ticket Vending Machines.

Partially funded by the European Commission under the CIP ICT-PSP programme, APSIS4all is a three-year project led by Technosite. It brings together 12 partners from all over Europe, including service providers, PDT developers, R&D organizations and user organizations. The accessible, usable and personalised services will be deployed by 2013 in real-life settings in 65 ATMs of “la Caixa” in Barcelona (Spain), and in 24 TVMs of Höft & Wessel in Paderborn (Germany).

Impact

APSIS4all will increase user satisfaction, regardless of disability, age or digital literacy, by providing new, customised interaction modes, including adaptive interfaces and interaction through the user’s mobile, thus offering users a truly personalised service adapted to their needs and preferences.

AsTeRICS - Assistive Technology Rapid Integration & Construction Set
Action

More than 2.6 million people in Europe have problems with their upper limbs and therefore many of them depend on Assistive Technologies (AT). As the potential of the individual user is very specific, adaptive, ICT-based solutions are needed to let this population group participate in modern society. Such solutions are rarely available on today’s market. AsTeRICS provides a flexible and affordable construction set for developing user driven AT by combining emerging sensor techniques like Brain-Computer Interfaces and computer vision with basic actuators.

Overview

With the AT developed within the AsTeRICS project people with reduced motor capabilities will get a flexible and adaptable technology at hand which enables them to access the Human-Machine-Interfaces (HMI) at the standard desktop but in particular also of embedded systems like mobile phones or smart home devices.

AsTeRICS implements a set of building blocks for the realisation of AT:

  • Sensors which allow the individual to exploit any controllable body or mind activity for interacting with HMI
  • Actuators for interfacing to standard IT, to embedded systems and to interact with the environment
  • An Embedded Computing Platform that can be configured to combine sensors and actuators to tailored AT-solutions which support the full potential of an individual user.

 

The core of the software suite is provided as Open Source. This way the complete system is affordable for many people who cannot benefit from leading edge supportive tools today.

Impact

AsTeRICS revolutionises the concept of AT: AT today mostly focuses on a certain task or situation. Due to the growing importance of the PC, AT has been oriented towards standard Human-Computer (HCI) or desktop interfaces. AsTeRICS respects the strong need for flexible, adaptable AT functionalities accompanying people with disabilities away from the desktop, enabling them to interact with a diverse and fast changing set of deeply embedded devices in our modern environment.

BeyondSilos
Action

BeyondSilos aimed to promote ICT-enabled, joined-up health and social care (i.e. integrated care) for older people by developing and evaluating 13 pilot projects that focus on two different care settings:

  • Integrated short-term home support after an acute episode
  • Integrated long-term home support
Overview

The project ran from 2014 to early 2017 under the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP), and brought together 13 partners from a diverse range of expertise to work on BeyondSilos. It focuses on bringing together services horizontally, rather than vertically. This means that instead of trying to bring together services within a single care domain, it brings together different care domains (i.e. social care and health care) into a single service domain using ICT.

BeyondSilos created specific and detailed pathways which mapped out integrated responses to either short-term home support after an acute episode, or long-term home support, which actors were involved and the required coordination between different care domains.

They also developed a framework for the analysis of their pilot programs, and a mentoring project (alongside CareWell and SmartCare) on a number of different aspects to the BeyondSilos approach to integrated care.

Central European (CE) Knowledge Platform for an Ageing Society
Action

The aim is to minimise negative effects and impacts of demographic change in Central Europe in order to foster economic growth, regional development and social cohesion.

Overview

CE-Ageing Platform is a collaboration of 13 Central European partners representing different public and private organisations operating at national, regional and local level. The aim of the cooperation is to develop a CE-Ageing Strategy enabling partners to adapt to demographic change, thereby integrating lessons learnt from previous activities and innovative actions implemented by the CE-Ageing platform. The Platform intend to:

  • improve framework conditions (e.g. programmes, regulations) by adapting policies, governance processes and mechanisms to demographic change;
  • reduce regional disparities as well as spatial segregation of target groups by providing a platform for exchanging knowledge on practices;
  • implementation of innovative measures/services for SMEs in the area of diversity management, life-long learning (LLL), work-life-balance and health;
  • raising awareness on demographic change, developing ageing strategies as well as state-of-the-art training concepts.
Impact

The expected results of the Platform is to set up a joint Forum on Ageing in Central Europe, implement 9 regional/local pilots as well as the implementation of innovative measures and services for SMEs in the field of age management, life-long working and work-life balance.

Cities in Balance
Action

Cities In Balance aimed to improve opportunities for seniors, moving forward from the traditional approach of intervention and treatment. CIB aimed to reduce reliance on health and care services by encouraging greater emphasis on broader well-being issues. CIB focused on services that improved the quality of life of seniors and helped them to live independently. A key activity was to define and explore innovative strategies to address the challenge posed by an ageing population. It was supported by the INTERREG IVB programme and involves partners in the UK, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Overview

CIB explored:

  1. empowering seniors to participate fully in community life;
  2. information and communication provision;
  3. securing social, financial and digital inclusion;
  4. business and employment opportunities.
Impact

CIB grew two pilots that had run previously in Stockport called Manage your Money and Silver Entrepreneurs. In Cities in Balance we could run these across the whole city and extend our reach to Seniors. The Manage your Money pilot was a financial exclusion project targeting older people. The Silver Entrepreneurs Project was an employment project targeting older people to set up their own business.

City4Age
Action

Aims to create an innovative framework to help cities implement ICT tools and services which can be used to enhance early detection of risk factors for frailty and Mild Cognitive Impairments (MCI), as well as provide personalized advice to help promote healthy behaviour to prevent the onset of illnesses related to old age.

Overview

This program acts as a bridge between the EIP on Smart Cities and Communities and the EIP on Active and Healthy Ageing by focusing on the following points:

  • Leveraging large amounts of personal data from individuals, collected both at home and public spaces through new sensing technologies
  • Managing the personal data flows following a privacy-aware linked open data paradigm
  • Establishing frameworks and mechanisms of reasoning that can be used for:
    • Identifying relevant behaviours of groups or individuals
    • Detecting changes that can be correlated with risks of cognitive health and frailty
    • Developing ICT based interventions to mitigate the risks of cognitive health and frailty
    • Facilitating the growth of a sustainable ecosystem of services for an elderly-friendly urban environment
Impact

Has three strategic objectives: (i) identify populations at risk, (ii) monitor daily activities of identified users in a smart environment and (iii) intervene in case of behaviour change that may lead to deterioration.

In order to meet these strategic objectives, City4Age has a number of operational objectives for research and innovation work:

  • Development of an organized set of models and domain knowledge representations
  • Development of an application ecosystems using smart mobile devices enabling large scale collection of personal data in home and city environments
  • Setting up a large scale data management system enabling the real time handling of personal data flows
  • Development of advanced models for the detection of risks relevant for MCI and frailty
  • Development of a general framework for delivering an ICT intervention for risk detection and behaviour change
  • Test the City4Age approach in six cities with concrete results
  • Definition of a general sustainability model for detection and intervention against the risk of MCI and frailty
Connect in Later Life - Social Networking Site
Action

Connect in Laterlife is created by a consortium of six partners representing Ireland, Poland, Germany, Finland, Italy and Portugal with funding from the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007 - 2013.

Overview

With collective expertise in the areas of vocational education and training, direct engagement with older people, advocacy and advice, technology and community development each partner established local working groups to ensure that the views, needs and support requirements of older people where at the heart of the project's development process. A survey of 653 older people conducted in 2010 continues to inform the work of the consortium, ensuring content and accessibility preferences are achieved.

Impact

The project provides support and guidance to older users and those working with them. The project is also encouraging e-accessibility, including software and co-operation with local and regional service providers to render online content more accessible.

Connected Vitality Network
Action

The project aims to develop video communication network enabling immobile senior citizens to organize their social network and choose the activity and select levels of social interaction according to their individual needs, abilities and chosen lifestyle.

Overview

The project is implemented in the framework of the European Ambient Assisted Living Programme and aims to develop a user oriented technological solution - ';the second best connection' - enabling elderly to have meaningful relationships with others without having to leave the house. Linking senior citizens into a social presence communication network, which is tuned towards their needs, easy and fun to use and reactivates them to choose the activity as well as levels of social interaction according to their individual needs, abilities.

Impact

The new technological solution will:

  • allow elderly to have their individual needs and interests as a starting point for all their video and audio communications;
  • allow elderly to interact with family, friends and other elderly in a natural and seamless way, unhindered by technological barriers;
  • create a generic open communication model with strong building blocks inviting third parties to create their own add-on modules, developing the network into a main infrastructure for all kind of social and care needs;
  • empower senior citizens far beyond current possibilities and help them to overcome social restraints, impaired mobility and isolation, so many suffer from today.
DECI – Digital Environment for Cognitive Inclusion
Action

A solution to design and demonstrate the value of feasible interventions on business models in elderly care, enabled by ICTs, to be scaled across National Healthcare Systems.

Overview

DECI will propose ways to strengthen traditional care organization models, through the support of digital tools targeted for elderly with Cognitive Impairments, based of innovative technologies, information sharing, data interoperability and replicable logics. To pursue this goal, the DECI Consortium gathers partners from five different countries (Italy, Sweden, Spain, Israel and Netherlands), merging academic and research competences-focused subjects, care and social-care providers, healthcare authorities, ICT industry and their broad network of stakeholders.

Pivotal elements of the Project include a triple perspective, aimed at increasing Cognitive Impairment-affected elderly quality of life thanks to:

  1. A study of organizational models and processes and an evolution of traditional care models, aiming for a more effective, personalized and farsighted approach, increasing quality of life of patients, while simultaneously meeting organisational and economic goals;
  2. An exploitation of digital technologies, whose features and capabilities will support the delivery of personalized services; thanks to the definition of traceable datasets, approaches, tools and functionalities that can directly support care activities;
  3. A definition of business plans and economic models, which will be adapted to different application areas within different countries, granting economic feasibility and addressing cost coverage issues related to the implementation of new procedures and technological solutions.

DECI is a project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 initiative, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation [Grant No.643588], under the EU Call PHC20 – Advancing active and healthy aging with ICT: ICT solutions for independence living with Cognitive Impairment.

Impact

In order to address the economic and organizational impacts of proposed measures and actions, four living lab pilots will assess feasibility, effectiveness and potential economics benefits of proposed measures within specific local healthcare systems and real-life environments in Israel,ItalySpain and Sweden.

Dementia Ambient Care: Multi-Sensing Monitoring for Intelligent Remote Management and Decision Support
Action

The Dem@Care project has developed a novel closed-loop management solution that offers personal health services to people with mild or mid-stage dementia and supports medical professionals and caregivers. The project received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme and involved an international consortium of partners.

Overview

The system includes a multitude of sensors for monitoring vital signs, activity and lifestyle sensors, presence and motion sensors, as well as wearable and static cameras and microphones. This way the system can give context-aware, personalised and adaptive feedback, timely diagnosis assistance and cognitive support.

Impact

Dem@Care expects to enhance current clinical practises and afford new knowledge related to the diagnosis and management of dementia. More specifically, Dem@Care is anticipated to result in:

  • Clinical protocols that will effectively correlate sensorial inputs related to behavioural and cognitive patterns with dementia-specific parameters.
  • Elicitation and validation of new clinical knowledge  for improved diagnostic precision and effectiveness.

These results will allow Dem@Care to have a strong impact on the quality of life of people with dementia, with direct effects on their informal carers as well, by providing: 

  • Improved quality of care, through objective, comprehensive diagnosis, and customised reactive and proactive support.
  • Increased safety and sense of security, through real-time adaptive feedback and alarms.
  • Timely treatment of disease symptoms, afforded through early detection of health status degradation and through personalised cognitive support.
  • Sustained independence and autonomy, enabling to better cope with daily life functions, while reducing the need for constant monitoring.

In parallel, Dem@Care expects to have significant socioeconomic benefits, including:

  • Reduced cost of clinical care.
  • Reduced cost of monitoring.
  • Delayed admittance to nursing facilities.
  • Sustainable at-home care solutions.
FARSEEING - FAll Repository for the design of Smart and sElf-adaptive Environments prolonging INdependent living
Action

FARSEEING aims to promote better prediction, prevention and support of older persons, by long-term analysis of behavioural and physiological data collected using Smartphones, wearable and environmental sensors: leading to self-adaptive responses.

Overview

FARSEEING aims to build the world's largest fall repository. This will include samples of both high functioning communitydwelling elders and high-risk groups of fallers. The architecture of the database will facilitate collection, analysis and processing of data related to falls, daily activity and physiological factors.

Impact

The inclusion of a longstanding cohort study ensures a representative population sample, which is urgently needed to translate technological advance into real world service provision.

GiraffPlus project
Action

Help people live independently with long-term monitoring and social interaction

Overview

GiraffPlus is a complex system which can monitor activities in the home using a network of sensors, both in and around the home as well as on the body. The sensors can measure e.g. blood pressure or detect e.g. whether somebody falls down. Different services, depending on the individual’s needs, can be pre-selected and tailored to the requirements of both the older adults and health care professionals. At the heart of the system is a unique telepresence robot, Giraff, which lends its name to the project. The robot uses a Skype-like interface to allow e.g. relatives or caregivers to virtually visit an elderly person in the home.

Special emphasis in the project is given to evaluations and input from the users so that the system can have an empathetic user interaction and address the actual needs and capabilities of the users. 

Impact

The GiraffPlus system will be installed and evaluated in at least 15 homes of elderly people distributed in Sweden, Italy and Spain. These evaluations will drive the development of the system.

GiraffPlus Project Aims are:

  • To develop a networked system in the home consisting of environmental and physiological sensors. 
  • To develop intelligent services which can extract high level activities based on sensor data and provide a robust system.
  • To provide services such as alarms which via the Giraff will allow healthcare professionals and family to enable timely involvement.
  • By 2014 test the system in a real homes around Europe and include user feedback in all steps of the system design.
Go-myLife: Going Online: My Social Life
Action

July 2010 saw the official kick-off of Go-myLife, a research project that sets out to improve the quality of life for older people through the use of online social networks combined with mobile technologies. Since October 2010 older people have been taking a central role in the project; through workshops they are sharing their thoughts and ideas on the concept, outlining their needs and preferences and explaining how they would like to use mobile social networks in their daily lives.

Overview

This project, with a total budget of 2.4M€ is funded by AAL, a European Commission research programme promoting the development of technologies for Ambient Assistive Living. The project is led by the Research and Innovation division of ATOS Origin (Spain) and a team of developers, experts and end-user organisations from across Europe, including: The 451 Group (UK), Institute of Communication & Computer Systems (Greece), Zentrum fuer Soziale Innovation (Austria), IS Communications Ltd (UK), Andago Ingeniería S.L. (Spain) and Stowarzyszenie Spoleczenstwa Wiedzy (Poland).

Impact

Go-myLife is developing a mobile social networking platform customized to the needs of older people, supporting easy interaction and communication with their peers and family members, as well as providing easy access to relevant geographically based information. Despite still being in its initial stages, Go-myLife is already closely connected to its primary user group: elderly people.

HELPS - Housing and Homecare for the Elderly and vulnerable people and Local Partnership Strategies in Central European cities
Action

HELPS project, financed within Central Europe Programme by the European Regional Development Fund, promotes development strategies and practices improving the quality of life of vulnerable groups, with a strategic focus on elderly and people with disabilities, in urban areas of Central Europe. In particular, HELPS project aims to develop and consolidate innovative housing and care solutions, by supporting models of integrated local governance able to orient policies, products and services.

Overview

The project's activities include:

  • Research. Analysis and evaluation of housing and care options for the elderly and people with disabilities in the countries involved in the project.
  • Experimentations. Realization of eight Pilot actions, one in each country, to test innovative services for home living.
  • Strategies. Elaboration, on the basis of the emerged results, of strategic documents intended to influence decision-making processes at local, national and transnational level.
Impact

Through a highly integrated approach, HELPS project addresses six challenges:

  • The access to information about services for independent living
  • The accessibility of daily life spaces and urban areas
  • The empowerment of formal and informal caregivers and of professionals from relevant fields
  • The reinforcement of social linkages at neighborhood level
  • The adoption of ICT devices
  • The sustainability and efficiency of care systems
iAge: e-inclusion in ageing Europe
Action

iAge aims to raise awareness, find possible solutions and implement strategies and actions to increase the economic and social e-inclusion of older people.

Overview

iAge project is a cooperation of 10 regions from 6 European countries which wish to enhance regional development in areas of decline affected by an ageing population. They intend to achieve this goal through the promotion of the use of ICT to combat social exclusion, improve employment opportunities, quality of life and community participation. The objectives of the project are:

  • Increase active participation and productivity of the elderly in relation to the labour market;
  • Increase and promote the use and accessibility of ICT in relation to lifelong living;
  • Implement transnational strategies, demonstration pilots and concrete actions to increase the economic and social e-inclusion of the ageing population
  • Communicate the iAge project and its outcomes to other ageing communities in and beyond the North Sea region.
Impact

In the framework of the project, an ICT toolbox and a web based encyclopedia of age related ICT knowledge (wikiAge) will be developed. The former will consist of training material and software applications, to be tested and evaluated by target users in different countries whilst the latter will be open for contributions from partners, interested groups and the general public.

inCASA
Action

The inCASA project creates citizen-centric technologies and a services network to help and protect older people, prolonging the time they can live well in their own home.

Overview

The project integrates solutions and services for health and environment monitoring to collect and analyze data in order to profile user behaviour, implement customized intelligent multilevel alerts and communication services. The target group of the project is European citizens, over 65 years old, living at home alone with a sufficient level of autonomy but may have a need to improve self-confidence and ability to cope with day-to-day life.

Home Sensor Networks and Human Monitoring Sensors monitor the lifestyle of older people living at home alone and can interact if it is needed so.

Impact

The main technologies of the Solution are:

  • Home Sensor Network (HSN) and Domotic Devices : environmental wireless sensors
  • Human Monitoring Sensors (HMS): portable/wearable human monitoring devices
  • Base Station connected to HSN and HMS to collect and send data
  • Smart Personal Platform (SPP): behaviour application to elaborate data coming from HSN and PHS + Social and Health care data repository for data analysis and diffusion to a variety of professional users
  • Middleware
INDEPENDENT - Coordinated E-Care
Action

'Independent' is a European pilot project that brings together twenty partner organisations across six European Member States. Jointly, they have set up an ambitious work programme which aims at better capitalising on information and communications technology (ICT) when it comes to supporting older people in their communities. The ultimate goal is to empower older people to maintain their independence.

Overview

This pilot project started in January 2010 and will end in December 2012. It is part-funded by the European Union's Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme.

Impact

Evaluation of Milton Keynes (UK) component of the project read here:

Milton Keynes Council's Telecare service working in partnership with Milton Keynes Foundation Trust Hospital and Community Nursing Service (Community Matrons and District Nurses), provided more than 100 patients with telecare and telehealth equipment in their homes. All patients were provided with a Tunstall Lifeline Connect+ home telecare unit, which allowed them to raise a call for help if they require assistance, either by pressing the button on the unit or on their personal trigger. This in turn raised an alert at a monitoring centre where trained operators were available to talk to patients 24 hours a day, and action an appropriate response. The patients also used mymedic telehealth equipment to measure their vital signs daily, and these results could also be viewed at the monitoring centre, where the relevant clinician could be notified if necessary, enabling them to take prompt action to stabilise the patient's condition and thereby avoid unplanned episodes of care, such as hospital admission. The new project means that, for the first time, the same monitoring centre receives alerts and information from telecare and telehealth equipment, allowing both sets of data to be viewed together.

The pilot phase of the project ran from September 2010 to August 2011, and was subject to evaluation using quality of life measures and cost savings calculations. The results of the evaluation process, from the perspective of users, relatives and care professionals, were very positive, including:

  • 79% of end users stated they experienced major benefits from the programme. These benefits included increased control/self-management, their relatives feeling reassured, fewer visits to their GP and a more active daily life.
  • 88% of carers said having the system had resulted in major benefits, including being more able to help, fewer worries about the health and safety of the person they care for, and trusting that early intervention will take place if a problem arose.
  • Care staff also reported that the service had a positive impact on clients, providing reassurance that their condition is being constantly monitored. They reported a reduction in exacerbations, and the number and length of hospital admissions because of prompt treatment.
  • In terms of cost savings, 168 hospital admissions and 85 GP visits were avoided based on 108 patients enrolled in the service. In summary, the project provides clear evidence of the benefits of integrated health and social care support underpinned by telecare and telehealth to people with long term health and care needs.
Innovage
Action

Innovage aims to enable older people to live longer in their own homes by utilising new  'technological supply chains' associated with new developments like independent living and eco-innovation.

Overview

The project aims to increase older people's autonomy in order to enable them to live longer independently in their own homes. To achieve this, project partners will use new 'technological supply chains' associated with new developments like independent living or eco-innovation, and at the same time they strive to minimize environmental impact of elderly daily life activities.

To realise this mission, project partners have established three main goals:

  • Increasing the effectiveness of regional development policies in the field of eco-independent living for the elderly,
  • Strengthening connection among actors, win-win cooperation and exchange of good practices at interregional level,
  • Creating a European network of clusters on eco-independent living to share experiences and knowledge in this area.
Impact

In the framework of the project

  • good practices will be identified regarding planning policies in local strategic partnership coordination and cluster development,
  • workshops and study visits will be organized to enhance stakeholder's dialog, exchange information, good practises and to learn more and share knowledge about clusters,
  • Interregional training sessions will be organised to support local policymakers to adopt a new governance model,
  • 14 regional innohubs will be launched to develop a closer working relationship between regional authorities and other actors working on eco-innovation for the elderly.
iStoppFalls - ICT-based System to Predit and Prevent Falls
Action

The iStoppFalls Project has been developed to strengthen older people’s physical fitness and to prevent falls by using ICT-based technologies. By doing so, the quality of life of elderly citizens improves and falls related costs can be decreased.

Overview

iStoppFalls provides an embedded AAL system that consists of four components. They aim to prevent falls by monitoring mobility-related activities and other risk factors of falls in real-life, which also enables to develop an individualised exercise program coached by the program. The four components include the

  • Senior mobility monitor, a sensor system that can be worn as a necklace without any restrictions. It will observe older people’s mobility in daily life. Quantitative information on frequency, duration and type of mobility activities and qualitative information on balance function and muscle power will be gathered and evaluated. The senior mobility monitor provides information about trend analysis of potential fall risk indicators and on the effect of the daily exercises. It also gives feedback to the training system to tailor exercises;
  • Exergame, a PC/Kinect based fall preventive exercise game that will facilitate real preventive exercise training;
  • eHealth platform that includes the Knowledge Based System for Fall Prediction and Prevention. The collected data enables the team to perform trend analysis of the exercise entities, thus evidencing valid fall prediction and sustainable fall prevention;
  • iTV application that can be used by participants at home as an personal health advisor to give instructions on the exercises and information for individualised fall prediction and prevention.
Impact

The evaluation study of iStoppFalls will determine several fall related aspects and provide evidences for a successful dissemination and exploitation. The project will involve representatives of world-leading technology and research experts from both university and industry partners in Europe and Australia and is part of the FP 7 Programme.

Life After Care
Action

The physical and emotional health of the care-giver is of vital importance if they are to continue to provide care in the home. There is evidence to suggest that care-givers are at risk of becoming';patients' themselves. In general, the more intensive and demanding the caring role is, the more likely that care-givers will experience adverse physical and psychological effects. Care-givers have been found to be three times more likely to report ill-health than the non-care-givers' population.

Overview

The Life After Care' partnership (2008-2010) of 5 non-governmental organizations brings together organizations involved in training, support and advocacy of family care-givers to address the issues faced after they have ceased in their caring roles. It aims to strengthen local and national strategies concerning informal training of former family care-givers to help their reintegration into society after they have ceased in their caring role.

Care-givers provide unpaid care by looking after an ill, frail elderly or disabled family member, friend or partner. According to EUROFAMCARE, over 100 million unpaid care-givers are estimated in Europe (25% of the overall European population), mostly women.

A former care-giver has been defined as someone who has ceased caring in the past two years. This target group is considered particularly vulnerable. Caring can isolate care-givers from friends, family and local community. Over time this isolation can mean that some care-givers lose their confidence and getting back out into the world can seem a daunting prospect.

Impact

The partnership focused on strategies for the empowerment of former carers through acknowledgment and enhancement of interpersonal (stress management, negotiation capacities, empathy, organisation skills...) and technical (lifting and transferring, medication management...) skills acquired in unpaid care-giving so as to help their transition from care giving to post-caregiving. Through networking and field work in the four countries involved, partners aim to develop innovative strategies for acknowledgment and enhancement of skills acquired in unpaid care-giving and their transfer in three areas of intervention:

  • (re)integration into the formal labour market
  • volunteering in community services
  • involvement in carers' organisation
Long Lasting Memories: Mind and body fitness for life
Action

ICT solutions with physical training equipment to address age-related cognitive decline and promote independent living

Overview

Long Lasting Memories (LLM) is an EU project, ran from June 2009 to March 2012, that has implemented an integrated ICT platform combining state-of-the-art cognitive exercises with physical activity in the framework of an advanced ambient assisted living environment. The LLM service was tested and validated in 4 EU Member countries (Austria, Greece, Spain and Cyprus) and the LLM pilots were held in up to five consecutive rounds of 3 months testing each (exercising periods of 8 weeks and pre and post intervention testing). Testing was focused upon elderly volunteers who provided feedback to help improve the solution to meet user expectations. The analyses of the results demonstrated that there seemed to be significant improvements in both episodic and working memory, and that longer training durations leaded to stronger improvements of long-term memory function.

Impact

By combining cognitive exercises and physical activity LLM was able to deliver an effective countermeasure against age-related cognitive decline, as well as cognitive impairment seen in the early stages of degenerative brain diseases, thus actively improving the quality of life of the elderly and significantly prolonging the time they can remain independent at home.

MINDMAP: Promoting mental wellbeing and healthy ageing in cities
Action

Develop understanding on how European urban environments can be used to promote mental wellbeing and cognitive function for older people through literature and study review from Europe, Canada and the US.

Overview

MINDMAP, funded under Horizon 2020, aims to increase the understanding of the effect of urban environments on variations and inequalities in mental wellbeing and cognitive function in older people. It will bring together a wide range of information using a collaborative interdisciplinary approach to achieve three specific objectives.

  1. To assess the impact of the urban environment on the mental wellbeing and disorders associated with ageing, and estimate the extent to which exposure to specific urban environmental factors and policies explain differences in ageing-related mental and cognitive disorders both within as well as between European cities.
  2. To assess the causal pathways and interactions between the urban environment and the individual determinants of mental health and cognitive ageing in older adults.
  3. To use agent-based modelling to simulate the effect of prevention and early identification policies specific to urban environments on the trajectories of mental health and cognitive ageing across cities in Europe.
Impact

The result of MINDMAP’s actions should result in a better understanding of the policies and interventions needed to create urban environments conducive to mental health and wellbeing, rather than detrimental to it. It will create a unique set of tools that policymakers can use to analyse potential policies, and ultimately will work towards improving mental health and cognitive function for older people on a European level.

Mobility Scouts: Engaging Older People in creating Age-Friendly Environments
Action

Build the capacity among older people to initiate co-production processes so that their voices can be heard in the process of creating age-friendly environments and services.

Overview

This program operates under the belief that older people have a lot of experience and knowledge they can contribute in the creation of age-friendly environments and services. Their input is highly valuable to policymakers and organisations, as they will know the everyday limitations, barriers and circumstances of the current environments and services they interact with. By providing their unique perspective through co-production, policymakers and older people can work together to create the best, most age-friendly experience possible and work towards healthier ageing.

Mobility Scouts (2016-2018) will work in four different ways in order to empower older people to take part in co-production of age-friendly environments and services:

  • Conduct and evaluate European research on the current state of co-production and involvement of older people, and identify what works, and what doesn’t
  • Develop a training module in each partner country (Austria, Germany, Italy, Lithuania and the Netherlands), and use it to train older people to be Mobility Scouts, the name this project uses for older people with the capacity to initiate co-production processes
  • Create and disseminate publications with low-threshold information to organisations and local authorities that will help them involve older people in co-production processes
  •  Develop an online training course which will allow older people to become Mobility Scouts on their own where no formal training is offered, making the impact of the program as widespread and accessible as possible
Impact

Will increase the effectiveness of the services and policies which contribute to healthy ageing. As a secondary impact, it will also promote a sense of social inclusion and respect, which have been identified as critical issues by older people for the process of ageing healthily and gracefully. 

Multilinks
Action

This research project (2008-2011) investigates how changing social context affects social integration, well-being and intergenerational solidarity across different European nations. It looks at how demographic ageing affects all age groups and the links between older and younger family members, between different points in time and between the different national and regional contexts. It aims to provide a better basis for sound policy-making in promoting intergenerational solidarity and avoiding risks for social exclusion or all groups.

Overview

A consortium of nine partners organized in six teams carried out the project. All partners are involved in the Gender and Generations Program, a system of nationally comparative surveys and contextual databases, which aims at improving the knowledge base for policy-making in UNECE countries. The consortium represented a wide range of substantive, methodological and policy expertise.

Impact

As a result of MULTILINKS project, a database with comparative indicators for all EU 27 countries (plus Norway, Russia and Georgia) of legal and policy frameworks shaping financial and caring responsibilities in families (gendered intergenerational regimes) was developed. Care was taken to harmonize information across countries and to be explicit about decisions taken in quantifying the indicators. The usefulness of the MULTILINKS database was illustrated in several studies. A key message for policy makers is that national policies should seek to support intergenerational care regimes without reinforcing social class inequalities and gender inequalities.

The objective was to give empirical information on how each state defines, regulates and supports responsibilities between generations. The structure of the database was built on a Conceptual Report which addresses how intergenerational relations are embedded in institutional contexts and how public policies, including legislation, allocate public and private responsibilities. The database includes information on four domains:

a) Responsibilities to care for children

b) Responsibilities to provide financial support for children

c) Responsibilities to care for people in need of care

d) Responsibilities to provide financial support for elderly people

Within these domains, different policies and legal norms are covered, such as family allowances, pensions and long-term care provision.

NU-AGE
Action

New dietary strategies addressing the specific needs of the elderly population for healthy ageing in Europe

Overview

NU-AGE is a large multidisciplinary consortium with 30 partners, from 16 EU countries, involving nutritionists, biogerontologists, immunologists and molecular biologists from the most prestigious institutions in Europe. Through its research work, NU-AGE will seek to fill the current lack of knowledge on how the whole diet can impact on and counteract age-related disease and functional decline. This will contribute to improved health and quality of life in the ageing population in Europe.

The project is supported by the European Commission under the Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology Theme of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

The specific objectives of NU-AGE are:

  1. to counteract the physical/cognitive decline by a whole diet intervention
  2. to assess the effect of a 65+ food pyramid using biomarkers
  3. to identify cellular/molecular targets/mechanisms responsible for the whole diet effect
  4. to perform genetic and epigenetic studies to assess the role of individual variability in the response to diet
  5. to adopt an integrative comprehensive approach to analyse the whole data set
Impact

Based on the knowledge gained about influences of diet on ageing and its potential to prevent age-related disease, foods designed especially for elderly consumers will be developed and the best ways to communicate dietary recommendations to those over 65 will be explored.

In addition, by dissemination activities and industrial exploitation NU-AGE will support EU strategies on nutritional recommendations, thus contributing to the implementation of legislation related to nutrition and health claims for elderly in Europe

O4O: Older People for Older People
Action

O4O was a research and development project funded by the European Union Northern Periphery Programme from January 2008 to December 2010. O4O was a response to emerging policy across the European Union suggesting that people in communities should become increasingly involved in providing their own basic services. Policy implies and suggests that this will have benefits for communities (development of social capital and capacity) and for individuals (developing social contacts, helping to improve wellbeing and health). O4O sought to test whether communities wanted to develop social enterprises (not-for-profit social businesses) to provide basic services and what effects this work has on communities and individuals. O4O's has gathered a lot of knowledge about what might need to happen for communities to develop social enterprises to provide services; some of this knowledge has been used to produce a Toolkit. The project suggests that there are potential health and wellbeing benefits for older people to be derived from involvement in setting up and running an O4O initiative. At the same time, it also highlights that involvement in service delivery can become a ';burden' for citizens.

Overview

O4O sought to:

  • Recognize that older people contribute to sustainable, vibrant communities.
  • Maintain people living independently in their communities for as long as possible.
  • Include people of all ages.
  • Develop resources that already exist within communities to promote the health and wellbeing of older people.
  • Recognize that older people greatly help each other to live in their communities.
  • View older people as a positive force and as valuable assets.

The concept behind the project was to test policy rhetoric about the role of individuals and communities in accepting responsibility for their own care and support and the changing role of public services from top-down delivery to co-production. If communities are to do more, how do they go about it? What does it involve? Do all communities have the capacity to do this? And what are the implications to individuals in communities of taking on the responsibility of developing and running services?

Impact

A series of policy briefings have been produced as part of the O4O project. These cover the practicalities of social enterprise creation with communities; the influence of culture and policy context on social enterprise creation; the future for older people’s service delivery and specific policy objectives for each of the O4O partner countries’ national and regional governments. These policy briefings are available on the O4O website, the key findings focus on the following main areas:

  • social enterprise in rural communities
  • cultural differences between O4O countries
  • removing policy hindrances
  • future agenda for older people's services.

 

PEER - Dare to be wise! Digital peer learning for adults 50+
Action

The project aims to provide facilitation of informal and non-formal peer learning in online communities supported by customized Web2.0 tools for adults aged 50+.

Overview

The project idea is based on the conviction that 50+ platforms (online social platforms for adults aged over 50) offer tremendous potential for sustaining learning opportunities across the life course in later life. The project partners intend to achieve a significant breakthrough in the innovative application of Web 2.0 tools to enable older people to maintain their mental abilities, to share their experiences and knowledge, to be socially interactive and to gain cognitive self-fulfillment.

Impact

This project goal will be reached by the:

  • identification and assessment of older people's usability requirements through the use of participatory user-involvement methods;
  • adaptation of a set of light weighted open source Web2.0 tools, supported by many 50 plus platforms;
  • translation of this set of adapted Web2.0 tools into Dutch, English, German, Polish, Portuguese;
  • development of accompanying didactical guidelines in 23 EU languages on how to provide peer-to-peer learning methods on social platforms;
  • connecting operators of 50plus platforms with each other by arranging a number of network meetings;
  • provision of an EU-wide map of existing 50plus platforms on this website.
Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Ageing (PAHA)
Action

PAHA is a tailored intervention for older adults with different functional capacities: through a supervised and structured exercise programme for senior citizens (55-65 years old), PAHA intends to convert currently inactive people into regular exercisers at a level that is beneficial to their health, supporting the EU Guidelines on Physical Activity and the European Week of Sport.

Overview

Started in January 2015 and running for 18 months, the project "Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Ageing" (PAHA) is a first initiative from the European fitness sector to tackle the issue of an ageing population. In each one of the 8 project partner countries – Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal and the United Kingdom – 3 fitness centres  run 3 trial sessions of supervised exercise of 6 weeks duration, for 15 participants at each session. For that purpose, the fitness instructors involved in the project receive specific training on both motivational skills and in active ageing promotion. The participation in the trial periods is free and the older adults who take part in the project are offered preferential arrangements for them to continue exercising for a minimum of a further 6 months period as well as some non-monetary incentives. Through a comprehensive evaluation system, the PAHA project develops transversal standards that are made available for education structures of sports organisations across Europe.

The PAHA project is funded with the support of the Erasmus+ Sport Programme of the European Union. EuropeActive is the leader partner and cooperates with other 9 not-for-profit associations across Europe in order to develop, implement and ensure the success of the project. These are: University of Coventry (United Kingdom), Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität (Germany), SkillsActive (United Kingdom), Portuguese Health and Fitness Association (Portugal), the Hungarian Health and Fitness Association (Hungary), IrelandActive (Ireland), Finnish Health and Fitness Center’s Association (Finland), Attic Union of Gym Owners (Greece), Fit & Sund (Denmark).

Impact

The project is expected to develop a methodology that will make health-enhancing physical activity more accessible and more attractive, allowing more senior citizens to enjoy regular exercise. This is intended to tackle the serious demographic challenge Europe is facing and allow older people to stay active and remain autonomous and independent.

Q-Ageing - Quality Ageing in an Urban Environment
Action

The radical change of the age structure can be identified as a general phenomenon, present throughout Europe. Prolonging the physical and intellectual activities of the elderly is essential to solving the mounting problems, associated with this demographic change.This project is specifically focusing on enabling active and healthy ageing by developing specific actions for the local and regional authorities. These actions are concentrated on two interlinked areas: public services and urban environment.

Overview

The project is co-financed by the 'European Union in the Central Europe Programme'. The aim of the project is to resolve the problem of seniors associated with sudden inactivity, social exclusion after years of active work. The project is employing two overlapping strategies:

  • improving the quality of the public services and making them more accessible/adaptable to the needs of the elderly
  • establishing a new age-friendly urban environment in the reality of changing demographic situation in Europe

It is important that Q-Ageing project support the initiatives of the elderly, factoring them into the decision-making process.

Impact

The Q-Ageing Project established in cooperation with nine European cities/organizations aims at improving the living and working environment of the elderly people.

Regional Telemedicine Forum
Action

The Regional Telemedicine Forum is a joint initiative of 9 European regions under the INTERREG IVC programme. The project intends to deliver policy recommendations and Good Practices Guidelines addressing the key challenges that hinder the wider use of telemedicine.

Overview

The overall aim of the collaborating regions is to promote and further develop the use of telemedicine services. Although the technical requirements are at disposal, the provision of healthcare services at a distance is very limited in Europe. The project partners intend to develop policy recommendation and guidelines on good practices in order to influence regional policies to better respond to today's economic and social challenges. In doing so, they

  • identify and analyze good practices within telemedicine services for chronic patients with COPD, diabetes and cardiovascular disease,
  • identify and analyze good practices within regional facilitation for market development of SMEs in relation to telemedicine,
  • identify and analyze regional strategies on the subject of telemedicine,
  • suggest policy recommendations to European regions.

Workshops, study visits, virtual meetings were organized which focused on telemedicine services related to three major chronic diseases: diabetes, smokers' lung disease, and cardiovascular disease.

Impact

The Good Practices Guidelines have been developed and will contribute to the successful transfer of telemedicine services between regions, to the improvement of regional policies and service and will provide new knowledge and skills to all involved stakeholders.

RENATA - Rehabilitation-Aftercare for an optimal Transfer into Autonomous daily life
Action

Multinational online-based aftercare program for German and Dutch cardiac rehabilitation patients Type of Action: RENATA is an eight week lasting, weekly support program. It is an individual e-learning aftercare program which addresses the basic elements of the Health Action Process Approach. This will be done by means of work tasks, assignments, model learning to increase self-efficacy, information pages to increase risk perception and positive outcome expectancies, action plans to support the translation of intentions into behavior, as well as coping plans to deal with barriers in daily life.

Overview

RENATA is an online based intervention for post-rehabilitative medical care, with the aim to integrate skills and behavior patterns, which were gained during the rehabilitation, into daily life of the participants.

The goal is to maintain learning results for a long period of time, improve rehabilitation effects at a sustained basis and support the return to the labor market i.e. to work. The objective of this research project is to increase the self-regulatory abilities of participants to the extent that they are able to be regularly and autonomously physically active and eat healthy, so that they will increase their quality of life and become resilient. Subgroup-differences in the effectivity and practicability of the program will be assessed including differences between Germany and the Netherlands, socioeconomic inequalities and across age groups.

Impact

The program provides the respondents with feedback concerning their current performance with regard to two health related behaviors; physical activity and fruit and vegetable intake. With the use of the program, participants will receive personalized advice targeting self-regulatory strategies on how to positively change their health behavior if necessary or how to maintain the behavior if it already reflects the official guidelines.

 

SEVEN - Senior European Volunteers Exchange Network
Action

SEVEN is a European network (2007-2011) of 29 organizations promoting lifelong learning and volunteering for senior citizens. The member organizations are local governments, NGOs, research centres and universities. The main aim is to generate international exchange, and allow for voluntary work and lifelong learning to benefit from a 'European Wide Space'.

Overview

This thematic network was the result of several pilot projects that experimented transnational exchanges of senior European Volunteers. These proved to be powerful educational tools not only for the senior volunteers taking part in projects based in a different European country, but also for the organizations of the civil society and the local communities hosting them. The network was based on 4 European projects and several bilateral actions between local and regional governments. This network aimed at providing a platform for all its participating partners to exchange information, expertise and good practices. It dealt, among the other issues, with the practical organization of senior volunteers exchanges, including measures such as pre-departure trainings based on intercultural and intergenerational learning as well as the development of personal skills according to a strategy that would accompany the senior volunteers after the periods abroad to include them in social work at local level.

Impact

The partnership was largely diversified: it included regional and local governments, network of associations dealing with active ageing and international voluntary service, universities, research institutes and a great variety of organizations of the civil society dealing with social, environmental and cultural activities. The main output of the project was:

  • Research on the impact of international voluntary service on the lives of the senior volunteers and on that of the hosting organizations.
  • As part of this project, a website displaying many training and information materials, including a database with all the opportunities of international voluntary service for senior volunteers and a “partner finding service” for organizations was created.
  • Lately an exchange blog of expertise and good practices among volunteers was also launched.
  • Four open international meetings offered the chance to all the partners but also to the greater public and the media to learn and contribute to the network and its activities.
  • The partnership released two handbooks in 4 languages: one is a guidebook devoted to volunteers and organizations aiming at introducing them to senior volunteering abroad and the other one is a pre-departure training course targeting senior volunteers who are due to leave abroad for a volunteering exchange.
  • Finally a 30-hour training course to all the involved organizations was offered twice. Participants could get a grant from the in-service training action of Grundtvig.
SHARE - Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe
Action

The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of more than 85,000 individuals (approximately 150,000 interviews) from 19 European countries (+Israel) aged 50 or over.

Overview

SHARE was created as a response to a Communication by the European Commission calling to 'examine the possibility of establishing, in co-operation with Member States, a European Longitudinal Ageing Survey'.

Impact

Covering the key areas of life, namely health, socio-economics and social networks, SHARE includes a great variety of information: health variables (e.g. self-reported health, health conditions, physical and cognitive functioning, health behaviour, use of health care facilities), bio-markers (e.g. grip strength, body-mass index, peak flow; and piloting dried blood spots, waist circumference, blood pressure), psychological variables (e.g. psychological health, well-being, life satisfaction), economic variables (current work activity, job characteristics, opportunities to work past retirement age, sources and composition of current income, wealth and consumption, housing, education), and social support variables (e.g. assistance within families, transfers of income and assets, social networks, volunteer activities) as well as social network information (e.g. contacts, proximity, satisfaction with network).

SmartCare
Action

This program, which ran from 2013-2016 under funding partially from the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PCP), aimed to create a set of functional specifications for an open ICT platform which can be used to deliver integrated care to older European citizens. This was done through pilot projects and extensive evaluation on the effectiveness of these projects, as well as their potential for upscaling and adoption in other regions.

Overview

SmartCare consisted of 23 regions and their main stakeholders in integrated care. Ten of these regions got pilot programs, each of which aimed to explore how integrated care can improve different aspects of independent living for older people. The other regions prepared for early adoption of the programmes developed after the pilot programmes and their evaluations had concluded.

Part of their project was the development of a rigorous Evaluation Framework for SmartCare, which is underpinned by principles from cost-benefit analysis and business modelling. Apart from assessing the effectiveness of the pilot projects in improving independent living for older people, this framework was used to investigate the organisational and legal aspects of integrated care. This was used to analyse the pilots with regard to long-term sustainability and the tools or adjustments needed to upscale the services.

Impact

Aimed to increase the capability to integrate the health and social silos of care together into a more streamlined, effective, and enabling service for the patient through evidence-based service design. SmartCare also aimed to generate a lot of empirical data on integrated care which there had been very little of until this project.  

SOCIABLE - Motivating platform for elderly networking, mental reinforcement and social interaction
Action

SOCIABLE introduces a radically new approach for ICT assisted cognitive training and social activation for a wide range of senior citizens including cognitive intact older people, older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment, as well as patients suffering from mild Alzheimer's disease.

Overview

SOCIABLE supports personalized cognitive training interventions designed according to medically sound principles covering all the cognitive skills. It will integrate, deploy and operate an innovative ICT-enabled on-line service for assessing and accordingly reinforcing the mental state of the older people through pleasant gaming activities for cognitive training, while at the same time boosting their social networking and activating their day-to-day interpersonal interactions. SOCIABLE is envisaged as a service with high potential for societal impact that could add significant value to current service offerings of care services providers. Furthermore, it is associated with a clear business potential for sustainability and wider use by care service providers within (but also outside of) the SOCIABLE consortium.

Impact

The applications support a novel approach combining the conventional human care factor with an ICT surface computing platform enabling:

  • Medical experts and other health professionals to manage the medical records of the ageing population in a well-structured fully electronic manner. Computer-based access to the medical records facilitates information management and reporting at various control points within a given cognitive training programme.
  • Medical experts and other health professionals to design and customize cognitive training and social interaction activities to the individual needs of their patients.
  • Older people to undertake cognitive training exercises and social interaction activities, in the scope of a motivating play environment empowered by the surface computing platform.
SUSTAIN: sustainable tailored integrated care for older people in Europe
Action

SUSTAIN (2015-2019) aims to develop strategies for improving “integrated care” for older adults by working closely with 14 integrated care programs from 7 different countries. Following the collective effort to improve their services, they will compile the lessons learned to develop and share best practices for improving integrated care among the relevant stakeholders, with the intention of enabling healthy ageing through these improved programs.

Overview

SUSTAIN, funded under Horizon 2020 works towards two primary goals. First, to improve established integrated care initiatives for older people living at home with multiple health and social care needs, and ensuring that they are patient-centred, prevention-oriented, efficient, and safe. Second, to ensure that improvements to the integrated care initiatives are applicable and adaptable to other health systems and regions in Europe.

This project aims to accomplish these overarching goals in three phases.

Phase 1: Preparation. This includes preparative activities to improve existing integrated care initiatives, such as forming international partnerships and baseline assessments.

Phase 2: Implementation research to improve existing integrated care initiatives at selected sites. This phase includes the design, implementation and evaluation of tailored sets of improvements to integrated care, and then an overarching analysis that incorporates the evaluations from all the sets of improvements.

Phase 3: Translation to products and impacts, ongoing during the other two phases. This ensures that different regions and countries use each other’s knowledge and experience, and that relevant knowledge can be packaged into tailored dissemination strategies to maximize the uptake of the evidence-based findings from SUSTAIN.

Impact

This programme is the first foray into integrated care, and so aims to find whether it is effective as a strategy for healthy ageing, and what the best practices are for integrated care. By the end of the project, SUSTAIN aims to have the knowledge and experience it generates filtering down into existing care systems, updating them with the best practices they developed to improve the quality of care.

SUSTAINS - Support User Access to Information and Services
Action

SUSTAINS comprises an array of services based on giving citizens online access to their Electronic Health Records (EHR). The services proposed have been distilled from the experience of regions which have already pioneered such access.

Overview

The SUSTAINS Consortium is composed of regions in the EU leading in the area of innovation in services for citizens. They are supported by a number of user and professional associations all equally committed to the implementation of Key Action 13 of the Digital Agenda for Europe. Regions will share their experiences and achievements to speed up the implementation of the SUSTAINS outcomes.

Patient empowerment is high on the agenda of the Consortium, while taking great care in addressing the concerns of healthcare professionals in what could be seen as a revolution in the patient-healthcare professional relationship.

Legal and ethical issues associated with online access by citizens to their EHR will also be thoroughly explored, and lessons will be drawn from 11 pilots in 9 EU countries and disseminated to facilitate the implementation of similar services by other regions.

Impact

Meaningful and measurable indicators have been selected to assess the impact and satisfaction with the services by citizens/patients and professionals.

Overall, SUSTAINS contributes to three major healthcare related issues in modern society:

  1. Empowerment of patients: There is a growing tendency by patients and the public to question information from the health system, ask for a second opinion, demand respect and dignity in their treatment, expect convenience, etc.
  2. Quality of care: New progress in healthcare means that patients demand, and healthcare professionals want to offer, the best quality of care.
  3. Efficiency and economy: There is a growing demand from patients/citizens for improved efficiency and economy.
Textiles for Ageing Society (TAGS)
Action

The action of the “TAGS”, consisting of end-users, members of textile manufacturing and innovation community, and scientific partners from different research areas of textiles (textile chemistry and physics, material and fiber processing and nonwoven materials), from various European countries, will support the transfer of knowledge and innovation in the field of new textile products in four main areas of interest: bedding textiles, clothing, textile products for hygiene and personal care, and therapeutic and recreational/leisure textiles. It was funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programe and involved partners from several different countries.

Overview

Project activities included:

  • Identification of present state of the art, problem areas, demand and definition of requirements
  • Common understanding between research institutions, industrial partners and end-users
  • Concentrating of new ideas
  • Generation of joint and collaborative concepts
Impact
  • Better quality of life
  • Better care integration
  • Creation of jobs or SMEs
The Voice of European Seniors
Action

This is a senior volunteer exchange project (2009-2011), financed by Grundtvig, between two associations in Romania and Portugal. The volunteers learn from each other about how they can use their experience and knowledge to make an important contribution as active European citizens.

Overview

The main aim of this project was to raise seniors' awareness of social shortcomings, to motivate them to seek solutions, to convey the broad range of European possibilities - particularly in view of its enlargement - for remaining active and performing volunteering work up to advanced old age, strengthening the solidarity between young and old through best practices in our countries and elsewhere.

Impact

The project focuses on boosting the enthusiasm and motivation of senior volunteers, improving their quality of life and getting pride from the contribution they can make within their communities. The senior volunteers organized learning events (workshops, cultural shows, presentations etc) with target groups from economically and socially disadvantaged areas-medical centers, homeless children, imprisoned minors, cultural houses, libraries, educational centre from the rural area.

Vitlab
Action

An open innovation platform to promote an ecosystem to favor collaborative innovation processes in the field of e-Health and e-Inclusion.

Overview

VITLAB is a tool for supporting and exchanging of knowledge in order to encourage the development of social and healthcare innovation, mainly in rural areas.

WeDO - A European Partnership for the Wellbeing and Dignity of Older people
Action

The project's objective is to develop a lasting and growing European partnership of organizations at all levels to promote the wellbeing and dignity of vulnerable and disabled older people and prevent elder abuse at all levels and in all settings through the promotion of quality long-term care.

Overview

WeDO project involves 18 partners from 12 countries and is coordinated by AGE Platform Europe. The aim of forming a lasting partnership is to offer space to exchange good practices, disseminate information and receive support to improve quality of life of older people in need of care and assistance. The project intends to develop a voluntary European Quality Framework for Long-Term Care in institutional, community and home care settings. This framework will comprise a set of fundamental principles that all partners will develop together and will agree to adhere to.

Impact

The project partners seek to establish a European Partnership Guide which will include recommendations for participatory quality development, control and labeling tools. These tools will be based on the European Quality Framework and will be adaptable to different national/regional structural and legal contexts.

WIISEL - Wireless Insole for Independent and Safe Elderly Living
Action

The WIISEL project (2011-214) proposes a new system for obtaining insole pressure information in an ambulatory and continuous way, in order to change the future of ambulatory movement monitoring.

The system is based on an insole that monitors the posture of an individual and evaluates gait dynamics via a matrix of printed pressure sensors. Innovations of the proposed system include the wearability of the system through the implementation of an ultra thin and flexible pressure sensor matrix, as well as the use of thin control electronics and battery. As an insole, it will be independent of the shoe, and therefore it will be possible to be introduced in the different users shoes.

Overview

The WIISEL architecture will communicate at two levels, first with a near element (e.g., smartphone), that can interact with the person. The second communication will be with a remote control management system. This remote control system incorporates an intelligent prediction system that aims to discover patterns and make predictions based on historical and real-time daily behavioural data. In other words, the system is self-learning and user-friendly.

This self-learning system will facilitate the prevention of falls by a gait and activity pattern recognition. This recognition will interact with the clinicians and the user enabling prevention interventions like rehabilitation exercises monitoring or recognition of the fear of falling by reduction of activity, and thus permitting a corrective intervention.

Impact

It is anticipated that this new technology will enable preventing falls in elderly population in general, which is expected to grow by 70% in 2050. It will drive a paradigm shift and empower new clinical and research opportunities, ultimately leading to a reduction in the burden of falls, improved health-related quality, and economic benefits for EUs healthcare system that is faced with caring for a growing elderly population. 

Poland

Archipielago Generations
Action

Classes and creative activities to citizens over 50 years old

Overview

Archipelago Generations is a programme running from September to December 2012 in Warsaw offering innovative classes and creative activities to citizens over 50 years old. Students participate in a variety of educational activities (lectures, workshops, walks and debates) which encourage seniors to engage in social activity and build up an effective intergenerational dialogue.

The programme includes:

  • 5 walks, which show participants some interesting and inspiring social and cultural initiatives in Warsaw.
  • A cycle of 9 of lectures and 4 workshops to familiarize people 50+ with the changes that are taking place today in social life.
  • 3 intergenerational open debates on issues that relate to changes in the modern world. In the debates participants will exchange experiences and thoughts with students of the Institute of Applied Social Sciences, Warsaw University.
  • A final project independently organised and carried out by the course participants.
Impact

The project aims to make seniors more socialy active and to initiate a dialogue between generations.

City Open for All - Centre for Senior Citizens Initiatives
Action

Create the right conditions for active and independent ageing in Poznan, meaning full participation in city life, as well as the shaping of this.

Overview

The Poznan City Council established an organizational unit, the Centre for Senior Citizens Initiatives with the mission of raising the quality of life of mature persons and seniors. The Centre strives for creating the right conditions for active and independent ageing in Poznan, meaning full participation in city life, as well as the shaping of this.

The Centre leads several initiatives, such as educational activities, advocacy, facilitating access to information, promoting the ideas of active ageing and solidarity between generations.

The 'Poznan 50+ Volunteering' and the '50+ Information Point' have been established within the Centre. The former seeks to encourage older people to help one other, whilst the later manages a website, publishes newsletter and a column in the local press. The Centre also coordinates the yearly organized '50+ and Active Fair' which reflects the concept of silver economy. It presents on the one hand companies for which adult client is important, and which want to recognize the expectations of experienced and wise elderly consumers. On the other hand, it hosts local and regional non-governmental organisations and public units which carry out projects for seniors and people over 50 in the different areas such as home care, adult education, physical activity, culture and art and volunteering.

In order to achieve its goals, the Centre actively cooperates with NGOs and other public institutions as well as participates in international projects.

Impact

The Centre for Senior Citizens Initiatives is one of the first units of this type in Poland and its success is recognised by the several requests that it receives to share its experience within the scope of national conferences and international meetings. The Centre for Senior Citizens initiatives in Poznan is becoming an example for other cities in Poland.

The project was amongst the finalists of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations Awards, in the category of 'Towards Age-Friendly Environments'.

HARC - Healthy Ageing Research Centre
Action

Support and advance healthy ageing in Łódź region through biomedical research, education and collaborative partnership at European, national and local levels.

Overview

Healthy Ageing Research Centre (HARC), founded in 2011, aims to further develop investigations in major areas relevant to active and healthy ageing. The Centre's research areas include topics such as:

  • novel approaches to improve well being in the elderly
  • neurodegenerative disorders in the elderly
  • pathogenesis and prevention of respiratory, kidney and cardiovascular diseases of the old age
  • molecular basis of ageing

THE HARC intends furthermore to develop international collaboration in research and training of young scientists, implement disease prevention and health promotion programmes as well as to strengthen community education and community service activities in order to enhance the quality of life, physical, emotional and social well-being of older people in the region.

 

Portugal

Ageing and Violence
Action

Identifying situations of violence among older people.

Overview

The 'Ageing and Violence' project's aimed to identify and characterize the situations of violence (physical, psychological, financial, sexual and neglect) that seniors over 60 residing in Portugal are subjected to in the family context.

Knowledge of the prevalence of the problem in the Portuguese population was acquired through a Portuguese population survey (telephone survey). The information collected from the beginning of the project in March 2011 revealed the characteristics of victims and the risk factors contributing to the occurrence of family violence. A sample of victims from the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) and the National Institute of Legal Medicine, IP (INML, IP.) was also consulted for the research.

Impact

The project's results included the identification of situations of violence occurrence (frequency and type of act) and its determinants, the characterization of health status, living conditions, the psychological well-being and social networking support and help of the elderly population, and the development of a set of recommendations that can influence policy makers and legislators in preventing and fighting violence against older people. The outcome contributed to ageing in better conditions, while encouraging greater outreach and social support to both seniors and their families.

Ageing@Coimbra
Action

Ageing@Coimbra is a consortium which aims to enhance the role of the elderly in society and the application of best practices that benefit their general well-being and active and healthy aging. Its main goal is to improve the lives of senior citizens in the Centro Region of Portugal through better social services and healthcare, as well as the creation of new innovative products and services and the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools.

Overview

At the core of this consortium is their “unique ecosystem” composed of the three axes of education, innovation and research. The combination of these three axes is what makes their ecosystem conducive to the development of best practices related to healthy ageing.

They are also a part of the European Partnership for Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP-AHA) through a number of action groups, such as:

  • Adherence to prescription
  • Falls prevention
  • Remote monitoring of health
  • Frailty and cognitive decline
  • Age-friendly services
Impact

As part of the EIP-AHA, it aims to increase the healthy life expectancy of EU citizens by two years by 2020. It aims to accomplish this through its varied actions in education, innovation and research with a number of smaller, more specialized impacts that can be found on their website.

GERIA - Geriatric study in Portugal on Health Effects of Air Quality in Elderly Care Centers
Action

To improve the health of older persons living in elderly care centres.

Overview

The aim of the project is to assess and improve the indoor air quality of elderly care centres. With the ageing of the European population, the number of people living in elderly care centres will constantly increase. These people spend about 19-20 hours per day indoors, therefore, the indoor air quality is a special concern and a critical contributor to their health and quality of life. Ageing adults, particularly the elderly, can have weakened immune systems and age-related health problems which make them more vulnerable to health complications associated with indoor air pollution.

The project particularly focuses on the:

  • measurement of air quality and thermal conditions in elderly care centres,
  • assessment of effects of Indoor Air Quality and thermal conditions on cardiorespiratory health of elderly care centres' residents,
  • identification of a subgroup of older persons particularly susceptible to adverse effects of air pollutants, thus posing the basis for preventive interventions,
  • evaluation of the association of indoor air pollution in health-related quality of life of older persons.

 

Impact

The project contributes to the establishment of a better living condition of older people living in elderly care centres.

Porto4Ageing - Centre on Active and Healthy Ageing
Action

This consortium aims to improve the health innovation ecosystem by removing existing bottlenecks, which will be tackled by promoting joint work between public and private actors and bridging the gap between them.

Overview

Porto4Ageing’s consortium is composed of four classes of organisations, making up the “quadruple helix approach”:

  1. Decision makers/health & care providers
  2. Business/industry
  3. Civil society/users
  4. Academia/research

These actors are coordinated together to each respond to a specific aspect of a shared vision and common targets related to responding better to citizens needs for active and healthy ageing in the Porto region of Portugal.

Impact

Through their many projects and good practices, Porto4Ageing aims to improve the quality and responsiveness of services to the needs of the citizens for active and healthy ageing.

Up-to-date health - Running and Walking Centre in Tondela, ‘CMMCTnd’
Action

Running and Walking Centre in Tondela, Portugal (‘CMMCTnd’)

Overview

The  intervention  CMMCTnd  targets  adults,  especially  the  senior  population,  of  the  Municipality  of  Tondela, Portugal.

The  project  comprises  sessions  of  exercise  (2-3  times  a  week),  in  public  spaces  dedicated  for  fitness,  walking, jogging,  swimming,  among  others.  Some  activities  are  also  oriented  to  the  promotion  of  cognition  and  include cultural  events,  allowing  the  establishment of  partnerships  with  local  institutions.  The  intervention  also  includes the  presence  of  a  Sports  technician  at  the  Health  Unit  Centres  that  orients  the  beneficiaries  from  the  diabetic medical appointments towards an exercise programme in CMMCTnd. In addition, the presence of three nurses at the CMMCTnd allows for the diagnosis and the monitoring of the beneficiaries, registering potential useful information for  the  general  practitioner  or  the  Sports  technician in  the  “Exercise  and  Physical  Health  Bulletin”.  There is also collaboration with one nutritionist (training and monitoring healthy eating habits) and one psychologist (working in psychomotricity and cognitive development areas).

Impact

The main  operational  objectives  of  CMMCTnd  are:  to disseminate the practice of technically oriented physical exercise; to establish partnerships with the health sector, to identify beneficiaries  from  medical  appointments and  introduce  them  to  physical  exercise  activities  in  the presence of a Sports Technician; to assess and monitor health parameters; and to register physical performance and health of participants.

The CMMCTnd’s central goal is to reduce the sedentary lifestyle and the isolation of the elderly population in Tondela, through activities designed to promote healthy and active ageing. The CMMCTnd provides a platform for health promotion by providing the space for regular physical exercise activities, counselling, and dissemination of health-related information.

Romania

My Grandparents are Cool!
Action

Preserve the Romanian cultural heritage by highlighting the values of sharing experiences between generations.

Overview

In the framework of the European Year for Active Ageing 2012, the Policy Center for Diversity and Security is conducting public campaign in order to fight against the marginalization of elderly people and encouraging dialogue between generations. The "My Grandparents Are Cool!" project consists of

  • a website gathering stories, common passions, habits and old objects that youngsters share with their grandmothers,
  • a 24-minute feature titled "My Grandparents Are Cool!" produced and broadcasted in order to raise awareness amongst the public about the problems of elderly people,
  • an action to plant "Orchards for the future" in two villages in the South of Romania in order to bring together children and teenagers, and senior citizens.

Scotland

Brighter Futures
Action

Promoting mental health among older people by offering social contact and activities

Overview

The Brighter Futures project was developed and informed by a 4 year programme of work which provided evidence on mental health in later life. An Initial inquiry based research project was undertaken in partnership with Age Concern (now Age UK) and more recently in 2007-2009 service improvement activities were undertaken in partnership with NHS Health Scotland and the large number of key stakeholders forming NHS Health Scotland's later life steering group.

These activities included work with 15 Community Health Partnerships. This work directly engaged upwards of 1,000 older people in Scotland and provided further understanding of the key issues effecting mental health in later life. Consistent themes that emerged were:

  • Poverty
  • Age discrimination
  • Physical health and mobility
  • Relationships
  • Lack of meaningful opportunities to make an active contribution to society.

This work has sat alongside and complemented the strategic work of NHS Health Scotland and the Scottish government on developments such as ';All our Futures', ';Towards a Mentally Flourishing Scotland' and the EU Healthy Ageing Strategy. During these activities it became apparent that there were large numbers of older people who were missing from these discussions and were therefore unable to have their voices heard, older people who are living their lives trapped in their own homes with little or no social support networks or links to the wider community. This significant gap has framed the development of Brighter Futures and informed the approach of peer mentoring.

In developing solutions to these challenges older people told us that it was important to take account of the contribution they could make as well as their potential support needs. In shaping Brighter Futures we felt that it was vital that we acknowledged that although there is much to do in relation to designing effective services for older people, there is also a steadily increasing number of older people, mainly retired from paid work, who are able to contribute actively to society - a strength not a ';burden'.

The principle aim of Brighter Futures has therefore been to work with older people to deliver a peer mentoring service aimed at improving the wellbeing and the quality of lives of more isolated older people through enhancing their social networks and enabling meaningful community engagement.

Impact
  • A peer mentoring approach was developed that met the specific needs of isolated older people supported by membership of the Scottish Mentoring Network.
  • Engagement activities were undertaken with over 500 organisations across 3 sites, developing project recognition, establishing referral routes and raising awareness of mental health in later life. Including: Trade Unions, Professional bodies, Job Centre Plus, volunteer centres, Pre-retirement council, Scottish Mentoring Network, Social Work Teams, NHS teams, GPs, Churches, local authority groups and organisations.
  • A wide range of local events were held helping to address low aspirations amongst older people and age discrimination within communities alongside engaging older people and communities as active partners in the project.
  • A national reference group was established and a local reference support structure developed in each local site to engage key stakeholders to act as expert advisors to the project.
  • A learning network was developed and facilitated bringing together the 3 delivery sites enabling them to share learning throughout the life of the project.
  • 78 older people were recruited and trained as volunteer peer mentors. 69 went on to actively support older people as mentors.
  • 11 participatory training programmes were facilitated across the 3 sites.
  • 96 participants were provided with a peer mentoring service and supported to engage with a wide range of community resources including universities, arts groups, lunch clubs, bowling clubs, church and faith community groups, slimming classes, exercise classes, book clubs, library events, community theatre groups, music sessions and community café’s.
  • Group activities were established within all 3 areas in year 2 providing supportive community based activities for older people with higher levels of support needs. Group sessions were imbedded within a wide range of existing community resources and have increased the visibility of older people: addressing age discrimination and supporting the development of intergenerational understanding.
  • Progress exceeded original target with 96 older people receiving a support service and a further 20 people receiving support within a group setting.
Coping with dementia: a practical DVD for carers
Action

'Coping with dementia: a practical DVD for carers' is a resource to help carers learn from other carers' experiences. It provides practical suggestions, including advice on challenging behaviour, money, legal matters and bereavement.

Overview

In 2009 NHS Scotland, in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland, wanted to provide information on dementia to carers in an accessible format to complement an existing handbook ';Coping with dementia - A practical handbook for carers'. The handbook, though successful, lacked accessibility. It was agreed to produce a DVD to personalise and bring to life the book's subject matter and make it more accessible to Scotland's diverse population. A key feature of the DVD was that it was developed in collaboration with carers from a range of backgrounds, ethnic groups and ages.

Impact

Around 50,000 copies of the DVD have been disseminated to NHS Resource Libraries across Scotland, as well as the voluntary and statutory sectors. A formal evaluation of the effectiveness of the DVD has been undertaken, during which carers were positive about the DVD resource.

I'DGO TOO
Action

Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors

Overview

I'DGO TOO is the second phase of research by Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I'DGO), a research project focused on identifying the most effective ways of shaping outdoor environments inclusively. I'DGO TOO ran from 2007-2012, and involved over 3,580 senior participants.

Impact

Commited to improving the quality of life of older people by helping create easy, enjoyable, walkable access to outdoor urban environments for people of all abilities, I'DGO One (2003-2006) established why getting outdoors matters to older people and what barriers prevent them from getting out and about, day-to-day. In I’DGO TOO, focus was given to aspects of placemaking which had been gaining currency in policy and practice but which had not yet been tested for age-friendliness.

SCOPe - Supporting older Carers and Older People through befriending
Action

SCOPe provides a befriending service for people aged 60 and over who have experience of mental health problems, or who care for someone else who has a mental health problem. Through befriending and involvement in meaningful activity, social isolation is reduced and mental health and well-being are improved while increasing people's confidence.

Overview

SCOPe was set up July 2008 in collaboration the Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH) and NHS Scotland, as a result of a needs assessment undertaken with older people and carers in Glasgow. One identified need was a service to address social isolation.

Impact

Initial outcomes reported forty ‘matches’ since the start of the project, with good feedback about increased self confidence, thereby enabling people to continue to make connections on their own. The project spread into other settings, with a highly successful pilot project in a hospital rehab ward in Glasgow.

Slovakia

A Health Park for the seniors of Košice–Západ
Action

Reconstruction of a local park to promote physical activity

Overview

The City Borough Koš;ice-Západ inaugurated a Health Park on July 19th as a contribution to the European Year 2012. The Health Park is situated in the garden of a Day Centre providing services and activities to different groups of citizens (children, families and senior people). The garden has been partially reconstructed and furnished with special fitness equipment designed for seniors in order to help them train their balance, coordination and improve their physical condition. A new wooden sun deck also offers old people the possibility to meet, discuss and share ideas.

Impact

The park, apart from being a place of daily attraction for visitors to sit and relax, has also added to the improvement of the physical condition of all visitors. 

Slovenia

Fruits of Society - a project of intergenerational cooperation
Action

The project aims to unite old and young people, using institutions that are familiar with the needs and abilities of both groups. It aims to tackle the stereotypes young and old people tend to have against each other.

Overview

The House called Fruits of Society is the first example of setting up an intergenerational centre in Slovenia, which brings together different activities and different groups in the Pomurje region. The project's aim is to ensure additional help for the elderly by young people and, at the same time, help youth acquire new knowledge. Activities mainly revolve around socializing, collective creation, and promotion of a healthy lifestyle and voluntary work. The idea is to create a forum where ideas can be exchanged on how to deepen and extend intergenerational voluntary cooperation to other activities and how to carry out these activities in different contexts.

Impact

The project will unite younger and older people, and tackle the stereotypes young and old people tend to have against each other.

PANGeA
Action

Physical Activity and Nutrition for Quality Ageing.

Overview

The project PANGeA (2007-2013), is a cross-border cooperation between Slovenia and Italy which aims to improve the quality of life of older citizens through gaining knowledge on seniors' nutrition and physical activity. The network of existing health care (hospitals), social (elderly homes) and private (fitness centres) entities, which are mainly operating in the fields of these activities, are the subject of this project. Fitness programmes for the elderly and healthy nutrition measures, are applied, and will contribute to improve general health condition and reduce the risks of acute injuries and chronic diseases. On the other hand, the effects of permanent inactivity are studied and develop programmes for independence after hip surgeries.

General objectives of the project:

  • Defining healthy ageing factors;
  • Setting up content-related and HR bases of the international excellence centre (SLO-ITA) in the field of health of elderly citizens;
  • Raising awareness on the significance of healthy ageing, social inclusion and mobility of less privileged populations (the elderly);
  • Reducing the costs of health care;
  • Connecting the existing health care, social and private entities and improving their mutual coordination.
Impact

By interpreting the characteristics of healthy and active elderly people, the project tries to define the criteria of healthy ageing. The knowledge will then be applied in practice working with target groups with the cooperation of public institutions from participating regions that are active in the field of assuring the quality of life for the older population.

The project has been drafted in the sense of setting up healthy ageing criteria, based on connecting interdisciplinary knowledge and the implementation of mass measurements on the elderly, thus enabling the basis for constructing a permanent network of institutions that will offer health care and rehabilitation services in order to stimulate the recovery period. Everything mentioned above can be transferred to the level of national policies, which could enable the increase of the quality of life of the elderly by synergising permanent networks (connections between hospitals and joint functional centres) on the entire programme area. 

Spain

Durango, Ciudad amigable / Durango, age-friendly city
Action

This project aims to provide a framework for the participatory involvement in municipal decision making in the Spanish city of Durango. The aim is to improve the environment and facilitate active and healthy ageing.

Overview

This objective will be achieved by following the age-friendly "checklist" approach taken by the World Health Organization. The checklist is evaluated through eight sections, fulfilling a city with friendly city features.

There are four phases to the project:

  1. Creating mechanisms for the participation of older people in the cycle of the network. Initial evaluation of the adaptation of the city to the elderly. Formulation of a three-year action plan for the entire city, based on the results of that evaluation. Identification of indicators for monitoring progress.
  2. Presentation of an action plan to the WHO. Agreement of the plan. A deadline of three years to implement the plan.
  3. Evaluation of progress. Progress reports.
  4. Continuous Improvement if there is convincing evidence that progress on the initial action plan has been made.
Impact

Greater participation in municipal decision making by older people, and a more age-friendly environment.

eZaintza
Action

eZaintza is a system that provides care for people with problems of temporal and spatial orientation, and support for their carers. Its aim is to improve self-esteem, confidence, wellbeing and, at the end of the day, the autonomy of people, in addition to improving social and medical intervention in prevention and care. It can be used in a family environment, or can be a work tool for professional carers, and can even be connected with telecare services.

Overview

On the website the caregiver can define some paths and zones in order to control the user’s location. This is done using interactive maps. There are several map providers, but the one selected is OSM (OpenStreetMap), because this website contains open source maps with a large community updating the maps every day. The caregivers, who monitor the users and add the paths and zones to the system, also create events in the calendar. The user must use a smartphone in order to install the mobile application. The first approach includes the Android version of the application. This application is a lightweight programme that only sends the user’s coordinates and receives messages from the server. End users will usually be elderly people, since they tend to experience more disorientation problems. It is designed to ensure usability. When the user exits their secure path/zone or enters a dangerous zone, a similar message is shown automatically, sent by the smartphone itself. The user is asked whether they are OK. The phone automatically starts calling the caregiver and sends an alarm if the “no” button is pressed. The outcome of the project is very satisfactory as it allows elderly people and their family members to feel more secure and lead their daily lives more independently. The Project is assisted by Osatek and BetiOn, who are in charge of teleassistance in the Basque Country.

Impact
  • Housing: increase the number of older people living independently
  • Social participation: increase the number of older people who are socially active
  • Increase in security and well-being of older people and his/her caregiver
Independent Living Centre (CVI)
Action

This service aims to assist dependent elderly people or those with disabilities by providing them with personalized technology and products which will increase their quality of life, autonomy and security in the home. It tailors the solutions to both the individual needs of the patient as well as the specific conditions of their home to provide effective, efficient and helpful benefits to these peoples’ lives. 

Overview

The CVI works in three different areas in order to improve the lives of dependent elderly people or people with disabilities: direct assistance, teaching, and research.

  • Direct assistance: the CVI will evaluate each person’s needs through visits to CVI, visits at the home and training visits to teach people on the technology they can get in their homes. After evaluation, the CVI will make adaptations to the patient’s house and provide products which are suited for the patient, as well as working with the caregiver if they are highly dependent. Ongoing monitoring is used to adapt the offered services if there are changes in their needs.
  • Teaching: the CVI offers lectures and workshops on different aspects of their services and best practices as are relevant for the target audience, which can be: professionals, carers, relatives, or educational establishments.
  • Research: the centre also conducts research on creating new products and adapting existing technologies for use in their service, so that they can provide the highest quality, proven products for their patients
Impact

Has the potential to improve the condition of the patient and increase their autonomy, relieving pressure on informal carers and the health care system. In some cases, the solutions may be cost-effective compared to having a carer perform/aid with the tasks instead performed by the ICT offered by the CVI.

Kineage - Adapted Kinect game for exercise and fun
Action

Kineage focuses on therapeutic aspects of both cognitive and physical rehabilitation for older adults, as it improves memory by performing mental activities and physical rehabilitation at the same time.

Overview

The current increase in the ageing of our population and the lack of knowledge the elderly have of new technologies implies that they experience digital exclusion. Many new technologies that could improve their quality of life are not accessible to them, as is the case for smartphones, computers and video games. Games can benefit their quality of life, health and well-being, as they reinforce cognitive and physical exercise by means of accessible leisure. One of the latest tendencies in the field of video games is the use of devices that do not require remote controls, such as the kinect sensor. This sensor recognises the movements of the user, who controls the game with his or her body. There are currently several products made with kinect aimed at older people. However, these games do not work with wheelchairs users. There are also older people with physical disability, such as those with muscular dystrophy, where in most cases low mobility in either of the upper extremities is present. These people are also unable to access this type of serious game, since it is not adapted to their specific needs. Therefore, there is a lack of technological resources adapted to the specific needs of each user, leaving a great part of the ageing population without access to products that can improve their health, quality of life, and the enjoyment of their leisure time.

Impact
  • Physical rehabilitation for individuals who suffer an injury or illness which causes a physical impairment.
  • Improvement in cognitive performance and reduction of cognitive decline.
  • Improvement of memory.
  • Reduction of the digital divide.
Mapping age-friendly environments for the elderly and for people with physical disabilities (MAP-AFE)
Action

"Friendly Cities for All" is a citizen science project in which secondary school students are activated to become involved in the reporting of urban accessibility of their environment. To this end, a space for collaboration between secondary school students, professional users and functional diversity associations, teachers, researchers and representatives of the municipal administration will be generated.

Overview

The foundation of the project stems from the perspective of functional diversity. This allows a broader conception of disability and/or ageing; not only in terms of age groups and barriers, but in terms of rights, opportunities/discrimination. This goes beyond the model that highlights the difficulties faced by older people.

Interdisciplinary and co-operative learning are essential to this proposal. The relationship is therefore on the linkages between the scientific process, technological development and civic engagement of students in dialogue with society. 

Impact

The ultimate goal is that secondary school students become familiar with the concept of urban accessibility by completing all phases of the scientific project. This will involve the formulation of hypotheses, data collection, interpretation, analysis and presentation of findings to stakeholders. For this it is indispensable to train students "technologically" (e.g. open-data sources, tools for visualisation and analysis of geospatial data, etc.) and "socially" (e.g. concepts of accessibility, rights, disadvantages and disabilities). Thus, from different areas, knowledge and community experts, they learn 'how to do science' while making a real contribution to their environment ("service-learning methodology") with specific products (such as making accessibility reports or friendly routing).

Smart House Living Lab
Action

objective is to research and develop in the Ambient Intelligence and Ambient (Active) Assisted Living context of technology and services to prevent, care and promote the health and welfare of people, support social inclusion and independent living of fragile and dependent groups, in all stages of the value chain: training, experimental research, technological development and technology transfer. The Smart House Living Lab is the main infrastructure for ICT R&D&I experiments and demonstrations. Since 2008 (3rd wave) SHLL is part of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL). Since 2014 SHLL is also part of the Laboratories and Infrastructures network of Madrid Region that aims at improving and facilitating the services provision offered by the research infrastructure and laboratories of the Madrid region.

Overview

The Smart House Living Lab is a real intelligent house, fully equipped with the usual services of a conventional house where different ICT technologies (sensors and actuators) are distributed extensively in the living lab technical areas such as ceilings and walls, remaining invisible to users. These sensors monitor different context changes, such as temperature, lighting conditions, energy consumption, etc. This Smart House Living Lab has a control and observation area, which allows monitoring the use of services and applications in a non-intrusive way. There is also a specific room with a virtual reality infrastructure that allows virtual training and rapid prototyping of new services, and simulation of different scenarios. The Smart House Living Lab is both to develop new applications, services and applications based on the massive use of technology distributed under the ambient intelligence paradigm, and to test and evaluate the quality in use of third-party applications and services that require an user friendly environment with high connectivity and interoperability, and experience in design methodologies and user-centered evaluation. The Smart House Living Lab is an accessible environment for any user regardles of his disability or age.

The main services that the Smart House Living Lab provides are the following:

  • Intensive evaluations of Ambient Intelligence applications and services. Definition of indicators for assessment of both technological and user experience to obtain pre-prototype industrials completely validated by users, and thus close to being exploited and installed in real environments.
  • Systematic study of the needs of target users of applications and services: governments, healthy citizen, the elderly, people with disabilities and people with cognitive dependence and people who suffer chronic diseases.
  • Development of technological solutions available to specific needs at home for citizens (security, entertainment, social interaction, communications, information, energy saving). Generation and analysis of new paradigms of human-machine interaction.

 

Tarjeta Junta 65 (The Junta 65 Card)
Action

The Junta 65 Card is a free document that is at the disposal of people over 65 years old provided by the Regional Ministry of Equality and Social Policies of the Government of Andalusia, through the Agency of Social Services and Dependency of Andalusia. It is an ITC tool, provided with chip and magnetic stripe, about the services for elderly people, with no more formalityWith this card elderly people can enjoy of services and benefits in a very quickly and easy way: discounts, grants, access to programmes, etc.

Overview

It was created in 2001 and it’s used for a period of 5 years. Its renovation is also free. With this card elderly people can enjoy of services and benefits in a very quickly and easy way: discounts, grants, access to programmes, etc. Between these services the cardholders have a discount of a 50% in the public interurban transports of general and permanent use, with origin and destination inside the Andalusia Region, that are provided by the companies that have signed an agreement with the Agency of Social Services and Dependency of Andalusia. Other services provided by the Junta 65 Card are in relation with the Tele-assistance Service in Andalusia, discounts in optical goods and hearing aids, legal advice service, dinning service, etc.

Impact
  • Social participation: increase the number of older people who are socially active
  • Community support and health services: increase in client-oriented and -centered made to measure health and social care and services
  • Transportation: increase in transport suitable for older people
  • It fosters and promotes the business sector, so it is a tool that have a very positive economical impact.
  • It fosters the promotion of the personal autonomy and the prevention of the dependency.
The Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy of the Spanish NHS: Framework for Addressing Chronic Disease in the Spanish NHS
Action

The Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy of the Spanish NHS

Overview

The  Prevention  and  Health  Promotion  Strategy  of  the  Spanish  NHS  proposes  the  progressive  development  of interventions aimed at improving health and preventing diseases, injuries and disability. It is an initiative developed within the framework of the Plan for the Implementation of the Strategy for Addressing Chronic Disease across the Spanish National Health System (NHS). The Strategy has a life-cycle approach, with two populations prioritized: children (under 15) and individuals over the age of 50.

The Strategy seeks to facilitate a  common  framework  for  health  promotion  and  primary  prevention  in  the  cycle  of  life, harmonising its integration in the portfolio of services of the National Health System and getting other sectors of society  actively  involved, promoting  participation of  individuals  and  population  in  order  to  raise  their  autonomy and capacity to have a greater control over their own health.

The Strategy outlines interventions related to prevention and health promotion. Interventions in the elderly population include:

  • Comprehensive counselling about lifestyles in Primary Healthcare linked to community resources in the over-50 age group of the population;
  • Frailty screening and multi-factor attention for the elderly,which will lead to plans of preventive intervention and individualised monitoring in line with the action plans by the European Innovation Partnership for Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP-AHA).
Impact

The general objectives of the Strategy include:

  • promoting the population’s health and wellbeing by fostering healthy environments and lifestyles and strengthening safety in order to prevent injuries;
  • increasing life expectancy in good health by two years, for those born in Spain (set out as a quantifiable global objective for 2020).

Specific objectives of the Strategy pertaining to the elderly population include:

  • encouraging  active  and  healthy  aging  in  the  population  aged  over  50  years  old,  through  the  comprehensive integration of healthy life-styles and safe behaviours in a coordinated manner between healthcare and family community fields.
  • preventing functional impairment, promoting health and emotional wellbeing in the population aged over 70 years  old,  fostering  the  coordination  of  comprehensive  interventions  in  the  health  care,  social  services  and community fields.

The creation of partnerships and the development of local solutions are also central goals of the Strategy.

Sweden

AGNES
Action

The project answers the need of the elderly person to feel useful and have a meaningful role, be involved in the family and society yet independent, and have an improved quality of life. The ICT innovations developed are expected to enhance mental and physical wellbeing by encouraging the older person to respond actively to physical, social and cognitive stimulation from outside, thus maintaining and even improving selective attention, memory span and prospective memory. Formal care-givers looking after elderly people in their homes are assisted to manage their workload and better understand the needs of the elderly person, thus also providing improved communication and services. Informal care-givers, friends and family members were given greater access to information about the person, and those at a distance were enabled to keep in touch and share activities with their elderly family member or friend, and to know their current condition. Social organizations and authorities are predicted to reduce costs and improve services.

Overview

Co-funded by the EC AAL Joint Programme, the AGNES (2008─2011) was developing ICT innovations to enhance the mental and physical wellbeing of older people by encouraging them to respond actively to physical, social and cognitive stimulation. It supports formal and informal care-givers, friends and family members by providing greater access to information about the person, even at a distance. It thus enables informal care-givers to know when they need to respond to an older person's needs and better manage their workload. The objective is to prevent and manage chronic conditions such as cognitive impairment or dementia. All interaction approaches and devices were designed and tested by means of a strictly user-centered methodology, with intensive user involvement at all stages.

Impact

Link to publications based on project outcomes may be found here.

Hälsoprojektet
Action

Health project improving levels of physical activity in older people through provision of instructor-led training

Overview

The municipality of Solna, close to Stockholm, established the VillGott initiative to promote older peoples' quality of life by creating the conditions for well-being, health and safety. Part of this initiative is the Hälsoprojektet (the health project), to promote physical activity among older people. The project offers free instructor-led physical activities for people over 65, conducted by health education students supervised by professionals, including teachers and physicians. The participants are assessed according to their levels of physical abilities and health status, and offered a tailored workout programme, as well as education on nutrition and health.

Impact

The project thus promotes health by encouraging older people to take on good habits and engaging them in social activities to expand their social networks. The Health Project was launched in 2008, and attracted 354 people. A larger number of elderly will have the opportunity to take part during its re-launch in 2011.

ParaGå
Action

With ParaGå, the municipality can monitor the amount of time care providers spend in/attend the elderlys home in a completely different way, so that the elderly people get the time and services they are paying for and the city re-imburses. All staff within home care service have been equipped with smart phones. Using the application ParaGå Android - which is connected to the City's IT-system - they register the time spent with the elderly and are also able to make journal entries/notes.

Overview

The time registration system ParaGå enables better monitoring, improved quality and more efficient administration. With ParaGå, the municipality can monitor the time care providers spend in/attend the elderlys home in a completely different way, so that elderly people get the time and services they are paying for and the city reimburses. Before, this it was all manually handled. Today, about 6,000 people regularly use ParaGå to register visits and other kinds of services provided. Each month a total of one million visits to nearly 20,000 people with home care services is registered.

The initiative was launched because for a long time the municipality was not able to oversee and control the time for provided for home care, whereas very few home care providers registered non-performed time, meaning that their reimbursment was higher than it should have been. The ParaGå system allows flexibility in terms of adjusting the duration of a visit in the elderly persons's home. Before launch on 1 January 2014 there were two years of preparational work consisting of co-operation between elderly people, steering groups, reference groups, working groups, managing the opinions from district administrations, organisations and industry councils. Furthermore, a significant training programme was directed at the managers within the elderly care organisations on the distributional side. Hundreds of staff within both private and municipal home care service, as well as for the care assessors, have been trained. In addition, thousands of staff have received training through e-Learning.

Impact

For the home care providers, the new system stimulates more time spent at the elderly person's home. It is now also possible for the municipality assessors to follow up the services provided. At the same time this also saves Money both for the municipality and for the (private) home care providers. All staff within home care service has been equipped with smart phones and through the application ParaGå Android - which is connected to the City's IT-system, they register the time spent with the elderly and are also able to make journal entries/notes.

The Netherlands

50plusnet
Action

Social Network for older people

Overview

50plusnet.nl is an internet community in the Netherlands for older people, which has more than 33.000 active members, and it provides the possibility to get in touch with other people through chat and mail.

50plusnet is aimed at people who wish to extend their social network and it facilitates online joint activities of its members. People are linked up through a matching system, in order to share a hobby, go out together or engage in sports activities.

The objectives of 50plusnet are:

  • To get older people out of isolation and/or to prevent older people from getting isolated;
  • To stimulate participation, independence and social involvement of older people;
  • To support Self-management : to motivate older people to take initiative;
  • To stimulate (physical) activities of older people and to promote a healthy lifestyle and mental well-being
Impact

50plusnet, provides older people with the opportunity to:

  • establish new contacts
  • discover new worlds
  • exchange information
  • give and receive support, advice and contact with others
  • get inspired
  • receive useful tips
  • establish pleasant relationships
  • develop activities with others
Gilde Nederland
Action

';Gilde Nederland' is an umbrella organisation Offering consulting services after retirement, on a voluntary basis. It has approximately 65 local guilds throughout the Netherlands.

Overview

People over fifty years old who wish to transfer their knowledge and experience to individuals, non-profit organsiations, and entrepreneurs can join a local guild and offer their services as ';consultants'. Although the ';consultants' are not paid, their costs are reimbursed. This enables volunteers to contribute positively to society, while remaining active and socially involved. Many guilds organise city and bike tours, which are guided by ';consultants'. A growing number of cities have language projects, where guild advisors help non native speakers learn Dutch by meeting once a week to speak Dutch in an informal atmosphere ('Samen Spraak' project). In the ';Coach4you' project, guild advisors coach children experiencing difficulties with school transitions.

Groningen Active Ageing Strategy
Action

Intervention programme to enhance the health literacy, lifestyle, and resilience of community-dwelling, sedentary, frail older adults in deprived areas.

Overview

The  project  consists  of  a  1)  multifaceted exercise  programme where participants are supported to meet the Dutch Norm on Physical Activity;  2) resilience training focussing on coping with fear, boosting self-confidence, setting boundaries, and gaining control of emotions and  behaviour;  3)  social  skills  training  focussed  on improving social skills and making and maintaining social contacts; 4) education on several health and social topics, including physical exercise, smoking, alcohol intake, nutrition, and relaxation. This intervention is designed to last 9 months.

To improve and maintain health behaviour, participants receive self-management training for a duration of 6 months following the intervention. This training teaches participants how to implement lessons learned during the intervention into daily practice. The following 18 months are used to implement and sustain the intervention by aligning with local policy plans and supporting participants to be self-sufficient.

Impact

The aim of the intervention is to promote ‘healthy ageing’ in the target population, with a focus on increasing physical activity amongst the elderly, developing resilience to cope with ageing, increasing social skills to make contact with others, and increasing knowledge on aspects of healthy living.

HANNN - Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands
Action

Achieve innovations and fundamental breakthroughs that will entail structural improvements in the conditions for healthy ageing, and so stimulate economic activities in the region.

Overview

Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands (HANNN) is a knowledge and development cluster in the field of healthy ageing and aims to stimulate the economic growth of the Northern Netherlands. To achieve this goal it brings together knowledge institutions, companies in the life science, biotech, pharmacy, ICT, nutrition industry sector and local authorities. The work of HANNN is focused around five areas: Care & Cure, Food & Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle, Life Sciences and Medical Technology. The Network is involved in many projects in which it can bring added value through its potential in strengthening the collaboration between universities, medical institutions and businesses.

Impact

HANNN intends to deliver to following opportunities for its members and partners:

  • expanding and further enhancing networks
  • facilitating business development
  • combining concrete needs
  • boosting the (inter)national profile and market strength
  • building relations with comparable knowledge clusters in Europe.
My Home Fits / Mijn huis op maat
Action

My Home Fits is a practical tool for awareness and information for older people on what improvements are possible in their own homes in order to leave independently for as long as they want.

Overview

Mijn Huis Op Maat is a webplatform containing all information about getting older and living independent at your own home. The heart of the platform is the Home Test: an online list of questions which enables you to check possible improvements to your home for independent living. This test (free) provides you with your personal chechlist. Local communities can participate in the Home Test: they 'subscribe' to the platform which opens up a more extensive set of solutions to the inhabitants who fill out the Home Test. For each point of improvement they are provided with several solutions that can make things safer and more comfortable in their homes. Apart from the information, the Home Test, the Mijn Huis Op Maat platform hosts a search engine for entrepeneurs that provide solutions for older people and can take care of things that need doing in their home. Mijn Huis Op Maat is a platform which can bring together the local authorities, the elder workers, older peoples associations, housing associations, care organisations and local entrepeneurs to cooperate and offer a simple and straightforward tool to their inhabitants, clients and customers. The tool is used also as an awareness tool to point older people at their possibilities to take the lead in their lives and make sustainable choices on how they want to live when older.

Impact

The project aims to Increase the number of older people who live independently.

United Kingdom

Fit as a Fiddle
Action

Improving fitness, health and wellbeing of people aged 50 plus

Overview

Fit as a fiddle was a nationwide programme running from 2007 to 2012, supporting people aged over 50 with physical activity, healthy eating and mental well-being. Fit as a fiddle was funded by the Big Lottery Fund well-being programme. It hosted innovative projects promoting healthy ageing, which were run in partnership with regional and national organisations, based around the needs and ideas of local people. Fit as a fiddle also had strong links with different national activity and wellbeing programmes for older people, with which it shared ideas, networks and inspiration, including Age UK's Ageing Well programme.

The fit as a fiddle programme was divided into nine regions. Each region co-ordinated a portfolio of projects that promote physical activity, healthy eating and well-being among older people. Its programmes included:

  • Dancing for fun - dance, movement and music, in parts of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • Fit as a Fish - swimming and water activities for older people in Devon and Gloucestershire
  • Greenagers - gardening in the West Midlands growing food and sharing skills
  • Slimmin' Wi' No Women - healthy eating groups dedicated to older men in St Helens
Impact

Aimed at people fifty plus it offers new activities and opportunities across the countries such as gardening, cookery, walking and chair based exercise, to yoga, swimming, tai chi and bowls, thus improving fitness, health and wellbeing of older people.

Fit as a fiddle now ended, but you can read the final evaluation report by clicking here. Please also see the the new programme "fit for the future".

New Dynamics of Ageing Programme
Action

The programme aims to develop practical policy and implementation guidance and novel scientific, technological and design responses to help older people enjoy better quality lives as they age. This requires integrating understandings of the changing meanings, representations and experiences of ageing and the key factors shaping them (including behavioral, biological, clinical, cultural, historical, social, economic and technological), through direct engagement with older people and user organizations. The programme harnessed inputs from a wide range of disciplines to reveal the dynamic interplay between ageing individuals and their changing technological, cultural, social and physical environments - local, national and global - and to develop methods and means for overcoming the consequent constraints on the quality of life of older people.

Overview

This ambitious seven year initiative (2005-2012) is the largest research programme on ageing in the UK that aims to improve quality of life for older people. It is a unique and multidisciplinary collaboration between five UK research councils with many projects falling into seven thematic categories: arts and humanities, global ageing, health and wellbeing, mobility and independence, nutrition, statistics, and technology.

Impact

The central objectives of the Programme are:

  • Exploring of the ways in which individual ageing is subject to different influences over the life course, including identifying the biological determinants of healthy ageing and the social and environmental factors contributing to ageing well;
  • Understanding the dynamic ways in which the meaning, understanding and experience of ageing are currently changing and becoming more diverse;
  • Investigating the diverse ways in which ageing is/has been understood and represented at different times and in different cultures.
  • Encouraging and supporting the development of innovative multidisciplinary research groups and methods;
  • Providing a sound evidence base for policy and practice (including the development of prototype systems, procedures and devices) so that research contributes to well-being and quality of life.
PoPPs - Partnerships for older People Projects
Action

The Department of Health in the UK established the 'Partnerships for Older People' (2005-2009) to provide evidence of preventative interventions that work to maximise older people's quality of life and to support them to be healthy, active and independent for longer.

Overview

POPPs has developed and evaluated services and approaches for older people aimed at promoting health, well-being and independence and preventing or delaying the need for higher intensity or institutional care. The experiences of different projects are meant to strengthen the evidence-base and guide future initiatives to invest in and develop cost-effective and efficient approaches. The POPPs website offers links to evaluation reports, strategic reports and other related resources.

Twenty-nine local authorities were involved as pilot sites, working with health and voluntary sector partners to develop services, with funding of £60m. Those projects developed ranged from low level services, such as lunch-clubs, to more formal preventive initiatives, such as hospital discharge and rapid response services Over a quarter of a million people (264,637) used one or more of these services. Of the 146 projects, two-thirds were primarily directed at reducing social isolation and exclusion or promoting healthy living pamong older people (';community facing'). The remaining one-third focused primarily on avoiding hospital admission or facilitating early discharge from acute or institutional care (';hospital facing').

Impact

The reduction in hospital emergency bed days resulted in considerable savings, to the extent that for every extra £1 spent on the POPP services, there has been approximately a £1.20 additional benefit in savings on emergency bed days. This is the headline estimate drawn from a statistically valid range of an £0.80 to £1.60 saving on emergency bed days for every extra £1 spent on the projects. Overnight hospital stays were reduced by 47% and use of Accident & Emergency departments by 29%. Reductions were also seen in physiotherapy/occupational therapy and clinic or outpatient appointments with a total cost reduction of £2,166 per person.

A practical example of what works is pro-active case coordination services, where visits to A&E departments fell by 60%, hospital overnight stays were reduced by 48%, phone calls to GPs fell by 28%, visits to practice nurses reduced by 25% and GP appointments reduced by 10%. Efficiency gains in health service use appear to have been achieved without any adverse impact on the use of social care resources. The overwhelming majority of the POPP projects have been sustained, with only 3% being closed – either because they did not deliver the intended outcomes or because local strategic priorities had changed. PCTs have contributed to the sustainability.

RSVP - Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme
Action

This UK programme encourages people aged 50 and over to get involved in local matters in England, Scotland and Wales.

Overview

This free standing programme within Community Service Volunteers (CSV) harnesses the wide range of skills and experience of mature people to the benefit of people in the community. Apart from a few permanent paid workers, it is staffed by volunteers who organise other volunteers into groups of between 10 to 50. The permanent staff identifies charities, hospitals, schools and other organisations that would like to engage a team of volunteers. They also make sure that all volunteers have proper training and support.

Projects operate in many sectors: health, environment, cultural heritage, etc., in around 20 regions with more than 14,000 volunteers. The wealth of organised activities includes: ';Grandmentors' working with teenagers; a programme connecting isolated retired seafarers; recycling bicycles, and organising meals for the homeless.

Wales

Ageing Well in Wales - Heneiddio yn Dda yng Nghymru
Action

A national Programme hosted by the Older People's Commissioner for Wales. It brings together individuals and communities with public, private and voluntary sectors to develop and promote practical and innovative ways to make Wales a good place to grow older for everyone. The Ageing Well Programme is actively supported by Welsh Government and key national organisations. It has a rapidly growing network of members encompassing diverse organisations and interests across Wales. Strong links are also maintained with partners across Europe, reflecting Wales being awarded the highest three star Reference Site status as part of the EIP AHA.

Overview

The programme has five objectives:

  1. to make Wales a nation of age-friendly communities.
  2. to make Wales a nation of dementia-supportive communities.
  3. to reduce the number of falls.
  4. to reduce loneliness and unwanted isolation.
  5. to increase learning and employment opportunities.

 

Impact

Wales has 1.1 million over the age of 50. A high percentage is economically inactive, isolated and/or disadvantaged. The programme will develop sustainable solutions building from local networks with the Users voice central to policy and practice. It will have a focus on minimising dependence on hospital and social care through integrated transformation programmes particularly for frail elderly and vulnerable groups. It will target areas of high inequalities and deprivation working though designated areas and forums to ensure that inequalities do not widen as the increase in healthy years increases.

The Strategy for Older People in Wales
Action

A national initiative from 2013-2023 that focuses on delivering the social, environmental and financial resources identified by Welsh seniors as the most important for ageing well.

Overview

This is the third phase of the Strategy for Older People in Wales, which began in 2003, and focuses on tackling three primary challenges:

  • Create a Wales where full participation is within the reach of all older people and their contribution is recognised and valued
  • Develop communities that are age-friendly while ensuring older people have the resources they need to live
  • Ensure that future generations of older people are well equipped for later life by encouraging recognition of the changes and demands that may be faced and taking early action in preparation

Older people were involved in the development process from an early stage, and helped shape the areas of policy focus in this strategy by identifying the main barriers they face in healthy ageing and social inclusion.

There is a timetable which outlines the actions that will be taken by the relevant actors over the 10 years in order to achieve the goals set out in the strategy. The government of Wales has established a number of both qualitative and quantitative indicators which will be used to monitor the progress of the program and adjust their approach as needed over the course of the initiative.

Impact

They will be measuring and aiming to achieve specific outcomes related to social resources, environmental resources, and financial resources.

  • Social resource focuses: Social participation, diversity, access to information, learning and activities, healthy ageing
  • Environmental resource focuses: Shared spaces, living in the community, transport, housing
  • Financial resource focuses: Pensions and other income, energy, financial inclusion, employment

Iceland

Multimodal Training Intervention: An Approach to Successful Ageing
Action

6-month multimodal training intervention, coupled with nutrition and health counselling

Overview

Multimodal training interventions (6-MTI) are of special interest for older individuals, because of their high rate of disability, functional dependence and use of healthcare resources.

The  aim  of  this  study  was  to  examine  the  effects  of  a  6-month  multimodal  training  intervention  (6-MTI),  and nutrition and health counselling on different variables, such as on functional fitness (FF), body composition (BC) and cardio metabolic risk factors (CMRF). The aim was also to evaluate at 6- and 12-month follow-ups the effects and sustainability of a 6-MTI.  Furthermore,  the  aim  was  to  investigate  the  effects  on  the  different  sexes  and  to  see whether there were differences between older males and females. Another goal was to examine the 6-MTI effect and long-term  effects  on  participants,  who  were  divided  into  three  different  age  groups.  Finally, the aim was to evaluate whether the applied 6-MTI design and methodology could form a sustainable strategy for developing and maintaining the health of older age groups with regard to international recommendations.

The  intervention  consisted  of  a  6-MTI  with  an  emphasis  on  daily  endurance  training  (ET)  and  twice-a-week resistance training (RT). This was supported by three lectures on nutrition and four on health-related topics.

Impact

The intervention aims to increase the physical activity and improve the lifestyle of elderly people in a sustainable way.